The Dec. 30 front-page article “A violent death. Then a choice on immigration .” — a gripping, sensitive account of an Iowa woman who took in the teenage child of Mexican immigrants when he needed a place to stay, despite grieving her daughter’s recent murder allegedly by an undocumented man close to the boy’s family — was missing a key fact: Immigrants, legal or undocumented, commit crimes at lower rates than native-born citizens.

Of course, all who lose loved ones to violence deserve sympathy, and all murderers deserve prosecution. Yet as the article noted, demagogues manipulate bereaved families of victims slain by undocumented immigrants, using anecdotal evidence that belies the macro-level reality. They convince large segments of the public that harsher immigration policies will improve safety. More exposure to facts is an urgent need.

Chris Edwards, Harrisonburg, Va.