Immigrants and Crime: Separating Fact from Fiction

detention1The myth of “immigrant criminality” is a persistent one, despite research and evidence to the contrary. The Immigration Policy Center recently released a report, breaking down the myth and separating the facts from the fiction of this so-called link between immigrants and crime. IPC took to their blog to analyze two recent stories in the media that have worked to perpetuate the myth.

The perennially hot, and inflammatory, question of whether or not immigration is related to crime has yielded front-page stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times over the past two days.  In different ways, each of these stories highlights the extent to which the myth of a supposed link between crime and immigration has long been based on emotion rather than fact. Although study upon study over the past century has demonstrated that immigration is not associated with more crime, the “myth of immigrant criminality”persists.

IPC’s report, “From Anecdotes to Evidence: Setting the Record Straights on Immigrants and Crime” further dispels the myth that immigrants are criminals. Among many other findings, the report states:

Although the undocumented immigrant population doubled to about 12 million from 1994 to 2004, data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that the violent crime rate in the United States declined by 35.1 percent during this time and the property crime rate fell by 25.0 percent.1 The decline in crime rates was not just national, but also occurred in border cities and other cities with large immigrant populations such as San Diego, El Paso, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami.

Be sure to check out the full report here.

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