Revisiting crime rates among unauthorized immigrants

Scientific American writes, “When Donald Trump announced that he was running for president, one of the first issues he raised in his speech was immigration—specifically, the idea that undocumented immigrants are dangerous. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA that draws from a detailed and well-sourced data set reports that between 2012 and 2018, compared with their U.S.-born neighbors, undocumented immigrants in Texas were less than half as likely to be arrested for violent crimes or drug offenses and less than a quarter as likely to be arrested for property crimes.

Until now studies have not been able to link a specific immigration status to the rates for specific types of crimes. The new paper is among the first to do so. The researchers were able to delve into the details after learning that the Texas Department of Public Safety had begun cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security to check and record the immigration status of everyone arrested in the state.


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