Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Immigrants Commit Less Crime Than Native-Born Americans

Billionaire Donald Trump recently claimed that Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals. But a new report has found that the opposite is true: Immigrants — both legal and unauthorized — are actually less likely to commit crime than native-born Americans.

The report from the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group, draws from federal data and various empirical studies. The analysis isn't perfect, because it doesn't always differentiate between legal and unauthorized immigrants. But it should give Trump and others pause before they make eccentric claims that paint Latino Americans with a broad brush.
"While lawmakers repeatedly justify their crackdown on immigrants as a means of fighting crime, the reality is that crime in the United States is not caused or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status," the report concludes. "This is hardly surprising since immigrants come to the United States to pursue economic and educational opportunities not available in their home countries and to build better lives for themselves and their families. As a result, they have little to gain and much to lose by breaking the law."

The report offers two major findings as evidence: Native-born Americans are more likely to be incarcerated than Central American immigrants, and recent increases in immigration occurred as crime actually fell in the US.

1) Native-born Americans are much more likely to be incarcerated than immigrants

 Immigration Policy Center
The Immigration Policy Center found that immigrant men from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala ages 18 to 39 and without a high school diploma — those who make up a bulk of the unauthorized immigrant population and would be most prone to commit crime — are incarcerated at much lower rates than native-born American men of the same age and education level. This suggests that immigrants — both unauthorized and legal — are committing much less crime.
The analysis found this has held up for decades. In 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010, native-born Americans ages 18 to 39 were two to five times more likely to be in jail or prison than immigrants of the same age.

2) Since the 1990s, more unauthorized immigrants came to the US — and crime rates dropped

 Immigration Policy Center
As the number of immigrants — unauthorized and otherwise — increased in the US, crime fell precipitously across the country. And major immigrant "gateways" — such as El Paso, San Antonio, San Diego, and Austin — have seen big crime drops along with the rest of the country, according to the Immigration Policy Center report.

At the very least, the Immigration Policy Center's analysis shows that increases in immigration aren't leading to huge spikes in crime — suggesting that the warnings of Trump and others are misguided at best.

taken from here

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