Do undocumented immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans?

Submitted by: EZabel 110

No. The vast majority of studies in this list came to this conclusion. One of the studies in the list that came to a contrary conclusion has been critiqued, which may give you more confidence in our answer. (A link to the critique appears on the corresponding study summary below).
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the 10 studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong. For medical questions, don't rely on the information here. Consult a medical professional.


Chart summary of 10 studies examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Couldn't Identify means that State of K was not able to determine whether a study answers the question "yes" or "no". This could be due to several factors. One possibility is that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This often happens when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). Yet another possibility is that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. Finally, the full text or abstract of a study may not have been written clearly or was inaccessible. This would make it difficult to determine how a study answered a question.

All labels of Literature Reviews and source quality are assigned by State of K. For academic journals, the label "Q[NUMBER]" is an indication of the quality of the publication. The "NUMBER" refer to the best quartile in which the journal appeared among all the subjects in which the journal was ranked by Scimago Institutions Rankings. For example, if a journal was ranked in the third quartile (Q3) in infectious diseases, but in the second quartile in Ebola studies (Q2), you would see "Q2". The best quartile is "Q1". Publications other than academic journals may be labeled as "Highly Regarded Sources". Government sources receive this label as do NGOs ranked by the TTCSP Global Go To Think Tank Index Reports. The information contained in a source that is labeled "highly regarded" or "Q1" is not necessarily more accurate than information contained in a source without that label, but these are rough guides to source quality.

Additional Recommended Studies Not in this List (yet)

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Are presidential democracies more prone to becoming dictatorships than parliamentary democracies?
24 studies
Submitted by: SMendoza 75

Does deporting undocumented immigrants reduce crime?
3 studies
Submitted by: GFarahani 0

Does granting legal status to undocumented immigrants reduce their likelihood of committing crime?
5 studies
Submitted by: PSingh 0

Do formula-fed infants sleep more than breastfed infants?
15 studies
Submitted by: EZabel 110

Do gun buyback programs reduce gun violence?
12 studies
Submitted by: XJackson 78

Do legal immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans?
44 studies
Submitted by: LWong 0

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SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 10
Sorted by publication year
1
Do Apprehensions of Undocumented Immigrants Reduce Crime and Create Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Districts, 2000-2015
"We analyze whether the intensity of immigration enforcement,measured as apprehensions of undocumented immigrants1 per thousandpeople, affects local crime rates and the local labor market opportunitiesof native workers.2 Using data across seventeen U.S. Immigration andCustoms Enforcement (“ICE”) districts over the period 2000-2015, wetake advantage of a sudden surge in the apprehension rate from 2007-2011, followed by a decline in 2012-2015. The magnitude of the increasein apprehensions varied significantly across districts, depending on theintensity of local enforcement, and on the size of the local undocumentedpopulation. We use the variation created by this surge in difference-indifferences analysis. We do not find any evidence that more apprehensionsin a district reduced crime rates, nor do we find evidence thatapprehensions improved employment and wages for less educated natives.These findings do not support the rhetoric that deportations removecriminals and/or make more jobs available to natives."
AUTHORS
Annie Laurie Hines
Giovanni Peri
PUBLISHED
2018 in University of California Davis Law Review
High quality source
No
No
2
Does Undocumented Immigration Increase Violent Crime?
"Despite substantial public, political, and scholarly attention to the issue of immigration and crime, we know little about the criminological consequences of undocumented immigration. As a result, fundamental questions about whether undocumented immigration increases violent crime remain unanswered. In an attempt to address this gap, we combine newly developed estimates of the unauthorized population with multiple data sources to capture the criminal, socioeconomic, and demographic context of all 50 states and Washington, DC, from 1990 to 2014 to provide the first longitudinal analysis of the macro‐level relationship between undocumented immigration and violence. The results from fixed‐effects regression models reveal that undocumented immigration does not increase violence. Rather, the relationship between undocumented immigration and violent crime is generally negative, although not significant in all specifications. Using supplemental models of victimization data and instrumental variable methods, we find little evidence that these results are due to decreased reporting or selective migration to avoid crime. We consider the theoretical and policy implications of these findings against the backdrop of the dramatic increase in immigration enforcement in recent decades."
AUTHORS
TY MILLER
MICHAEL T. LIGHT
PUBLISHED
2018 in Criminology
High quality source
No
No
3
Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona
"Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. Unlike other studies, these data do not rely on self-reporting of criminal backgrounds. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens. Yet, there are several reasons that these numbers are likely to underestimate the share of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants.Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up slightly over two percent of the Arizona population, they make up about eight percent of the prison population. Even after adjusting for the fact that young people commit crime at higher rates, young undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries."
AUTHOR
John R. Lott
PUBLISHED
2018 by Crime Prevention Research Center
NGO FUNDING
This organization does not disclose its donors
Yes
Yes
4
Criminal Immigrants: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin
"This brief uses American Community Survey data to analyze incarcerated immigrants according to their citizenship and legal status. All immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives relative to their shares of the population. Even illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans."
AUTHORS
Alex Nowrasteh
Michelangelo Landgrave
PUBLISHED
2017 in Cato Institute
High quality source
No
No
5
How Much Crime Do Undocumented Immigrants Commit in Utah?
"There is a lot of speculation and twisting of facts when it comes to the question of how much crime undocumented immigrants commit in Utah. This report is an attempt to examine the empirical evidence (although it is by no means complete) to answer this question, using the data without picking and choosing convenient statistics or ignoring statistics that might go against one's ideology. Social and historical context will be provided in an attempt to understand what the numbers mean."
AUTHOR
Charlie V. Morgan
PUBLISHED
2011 by Sutherland Institute
NGO FUNDING
This organization does not disclose its donors
No
No
6
Examining the Relationship between Immigration Status and Criminal Involvement: Do Illegal Immigrants Commit More Crime?
"A perceived link between illegal immigration and crime continues to exist. Citizens continue to believe that immigration creates crime and fear that as the immigrant population grows, their safety is jeopardized. Not much research in the field of criminology, however, has focused on examining this perceived relationship between immigration and crime. Those studies which have examined the relationship have mainly relied on official data to conduct their analysis. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between immigration and crime by examining self report data as well as some official data on immigration status and criminal involvement. More specifically, this thesis examines therelationship between immigration status and four different types of criminal involvement; property crimes, violent crimes, drug sales, and drug use. Data from a sample of 1,990 arrestees in the Maricopa County, Arizona, was used to conduct this analysis. This data was collected through the Arizona Arrestee Reporting Information Network over the course of a year. The results of the logistic regression models indicate that immigrants tend to commit less crime than U.S. citizens. Furthermore, illegal immigrants are significantly less likely than U.S. citizens to commit any of the four types of crimes, with the exception of powder cocaine use."
AUTHOR
Lidia E. Nuño
PUBLISHED
2011 in Thesis
No
No
7
The Immigration-Crime Nexus and Post-Deportation Experiences: En/Countering Stereotypes in Southern California and El Salvador
"This article reviews research findings on immigration and crime in Southern California, and deportation and crime in El Salvador. We focus on the experiences of young adult children of immigrants, mainly Mexicans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans who together account for two-thirds or more of the undocumented immigrant population in the U.S.; and on men, including former gang members, who have been deported to El Salvador on criminal and non-criminal charges. \n\nThe evidence rebuts popular myths that immigrants and deportees are more prone to criminal behavior than natives and citizens. Nationally, rates of incarceration among immigrant men are much lower than among their U.S.-born counterparts. Like crime generally, the problem of gangs in the U.S. is primarily one that involves the U.S. born, who as citizens are not deportable; and despite the aim of public policies to remove problematic “criminal” and “illegal” beings, deportation is not the end of the cycle of migration."
AUTHORS
Rubén G. Rumbaut
Katie Dingeman
PUBLISHED
2010 in University of La Verne Law Review
High quality source
No
No
8
Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Conflicted Issue
"Some opinion surveys show that the public thinks immigrants overall or illegal aliens in particular have high rates of crime. On the other hand, a number of academic researchers and journalists have argued that immigrants have low rates of crime. In our view, poor data quality and conflicting evidence mean that neither of these views is well supported.\n\nIn conclusion, we find that it would be a mistake to assume that immigrants as a group are more prone to crime than other groups, or that they should be viewed with more suspicion than others. Even though immigrant incarceration rates are high in some populations, there is no clear evidence that immigrants commit crimes at higher or lower rates than others. Nevertheless, it also would be a mistake to conclude that immigrant crime is insignificant or that offenders’ immigration status is irrelevant in local policing. \n\nThe newer information available as a result of better screening of the incarcerated population suggests that, in many parts of the country, immigrants are responsible for a significant share of crime. This indicates that there are legitimate public safety reasons for local law enforcement agencies to determine the immigration status of offenders and to work with federal immigration authorities."
AUTHORS
Steven A. Camarota
Jessica Vaughan
PUBLISHED
2009 in Center for Immigration Studies
High quality source
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify
9
Undocumented Immigration and Rates of Crime and Imprisonment: Popular Myths and Empirical Realities
"The perception that the foreign-born, especially “illegal aliens,” are responsible for highercrime rates is deeply rooted in American public opinion and is sustained by media anecdote andpopular myth. In the absence of rigorous empirical research, stereotypes about immigrants andcrime often provide the underpinnings for public policies and practices, and shape public opinionand political behavior (Chávez 2001; Hagan and Palloni 1999; Lee 2003; Martínez and Valenzuela2006). Such stereotypes, reinforced through popular movies and television programs andfueled by media coverage of singular events, project an enduring image of immigrant communitiespermeated by criminal elements.\n\nBut these perceptions are not supported empirically; instead, as demonstrated below, theyare refuted by the preponderance of scientific evidence. Both contemporary and historical studies,including official crime statistics and victimization surveys since the early 1990s, data fromthe last three decennial censuses, national and regional surveys in areas of immigrant concentration,and investigations carried out by major government commissions over the past century, haveshown instead that immigration is associated with lower crime rates and lower incarcerationrates.\n\nIn what follows we examine the relationship of contemporary immigration, including undocumentedmigration, to crime and imprisonment. First, at the national level, we analyze changesin the rates of violent crimes and property crimes during the years of the surge in immigration.Next we look at the incarceration rates of young men eighteen to thirty-nine, comparing theforeign-born versus the U.S.-born by national origin and by education, and, among the foreignborn,by length of residence in the United States. The analysis compares the rates of incarcerationof foreign-born young men from nationalities the majority of whom are undocumented immigrants with less than a high school education (Mexicans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans) versusthe rates for other immigrant nationalities as well as for native ethnic majority and minoritygroups. Finally, we summarize the available empirical evidence from a wide range of other studies,compare it to prevailing public perceptions, and note their implications for criminological theory,research, and public policy."
AUTHORS
John Hagan
G W Potter
M Blumberg
V E Kappeler
Ruben G Rumbaut
Rubén G. Rumbaut et al
PUBLISHED
2008 in Invited Address to the “Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties: The Role of Local Police” National Conference, Police Foundation, Washington, DC, August 21-22, 2008
No
No
10
Are Deportable Aliens a Unique Threat to Public Safety? Comparing the Recidivism of Deportable and Nondeportable Aliens
"The study compared the recidivism of 517 deportable and 780 nondeportable aliens released from the Los Angeles County Jail over a 30-day period in 2002. The results of our analyses revealed no difference in the rearrest rate of deportable and nondeportable aliens in terms of its occurrence, frequency, or timing.\n \nThe results lend no support to the ubiquitous assertion that deportable aliens are a unique threat to public safety. These findings undermine one common justification offered for the current crackdown on deport-able aliens within the country. More research is needed to determine whether these results can be replicated generally and with subtypes of deportable aliens."
AUTHORS
Marika J. Suttorp
Laura J. Hickman
PUBLISHED
2008 in Criminology & Public Policy
High quality source
No
No







ADDITIONAL STUDIES TO CONSIDER ADDING TO LIST
Total additional studies: 17
State of K's algorithms generated the list of studies below based on the studies that were added to the above list. Some of these studies may also examine: "Do undocumented immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans?" If a study examines this question, add it to the list by pressing the button.

Only add studies that examine the same question. Do not add studies that are merely on the same topic.

DOES UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION INCREASE VIOLENT CRIME?
"Despite substantial public, political, and scholarly attention to the issue of immigration and crime, we know little about the criminological consequences of undocumented immigration. As a result, fundamental questions about whether undocumented immigration increases violent crime remain unanswered. In an attempt to address this gap, we combine newly developed estimates of the unauthorized population with multiple data sources to capture the criminal, socioeconomic, and demographic context of all 50 states and Washington, DC, from 1990 to 2014 to provide the first longitudinal analysis of the macro-level relationship between undocumented immigration and violence. The results from fixed-effects regression models reveal that undocumented immigration does not increase violence. Rather, the relationship between undocumented immigration and violent crime is generally negative, although not significant in all specifications. Using supplemental models of victimization data and instrumental variable methods, we find little evidence that these results are due to decreased reporting or selective migration to avoid crime. We consider the theoretical and policy implications of these findings against the backdrop of the dramatic increase in immigration enforcement in recent decades."
AUTHORS
T Y Miller
Michael T Light
PUBLISHED
2017 in Criminology : an interdisciplinary journal

Add to List
Crime on the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Effect of Undocumented Immigration and Border Enforcement.
"In the 1990s, the U.S. border led the nation in the decline of property-related crimes, while violent crime rates fell twice as fast in the U.S. as in the median border county. This paper asks how changes in undocumented immigration and border enforcement have played a role in generating these divergent trends. We find that migrant apprehensions are correlated with violent crime and that increased border enforcement has not had a deterrent effect on such crime. Rather, increased border enforcement in a sector has led to more violent crime in neighboring sectors. In contrast to the results for violent crime, property crime is not correlated with migrant apprehensions, and while there is some evidence that border enforcement has lowered property crime rates, this result is sensitive to the model's specification. Our findings also indicate that the improved border economy over this period, specifically rapid job growth, played a significant role in lowering property crime rates. (English) [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]"
AUTHORS
Pia M Orrenius
Roberto Coronado
PUBLISHED
in Migraciones Internacionales

Add to List
Immigration, Ethnicity, and Neighborhood Violence: Considering Both Concentration and Diversity Effects
" Immigrant ethnicity remains a largely understudied aspect of the immigration–crime nexus. Instead, most research to date relies on a single measure of immigrant concentration—most commonly the percent foreign born, the percent recently arrived or the percent Latino/Hispanic. In doing so, studies fail to account for the potential heterogeneity within the immigrant population. This study provides a comprehensive examination of immigrant ethnicity by disaggregating the immigrant population by language and religious affiliation. Drawing on three waves of census data and 9 years of official recorded crime data, this study explores the impact of both immigrant concentration and diversity on violent crime across 882 neighborhoods located in two Australian cities. The results demonstrate that growth in the immigrant population—regardless of the language or religion group under consideration—does not lead to more violent crime within a neighborhood. Further, no language or religion group concentration is associated with more violent crime once the sociostructural and environmental features of neighborhoods are considered. Indeed, the growth and concentration of some ethnic groups are linked to less violent crime. However, both linguistically and religiously diverse neighborhoods encounter more violent crime. "
AUTHOR
Michelle Sydes
PUBLISHED
2019 in Race and Justice

Add to List
Illegality and Criminality: The Differential Opportunity Structure of Undocumented Immigrants
"This chapter focuses on the relationship between illegality and
criminality. The central question is whether (and how) illegality
might be associated with criminality. Are undocumented immigrants
more involved in crime than others or does their undocumented
status in fact cause them to refrain from criminality? The emphasis
of this chapter is on differences between different categories of immigrants
and patterns of involvement in crime and how these patterns
can be explained.

\n\nThe chapter proceeds through five sections. In the
first section we discuss the conceptual framework and focus specifically
on the differential opportunity structures of undocumented
immigrants. We present in the second section a brief outline of the
city of Rotterdam, the location of the case study. The third section
comprises our examination of the relationship between illegality
and criminality using our analysis of official statistics concerning
apprehensions by the police as well as expulsions of undocumented
immigrants. In the fourth section we attempt to explain the empirical
patterns of involvement in crime, while in the concluding section we
discuss some possible perverse effects of the current restrictive migration
regime"
AUTHORS
Joanne van der Leun
Godfried Engbersen
PUBLISHED
1998 in The New Migration in Europe (Book)

Add to List
How Interior Immigration Enforcement Affects Trust in Law Enforcement
"The day-to-day behaviors of undocumented immigrants are significantly affected when local law enforcement officials do the work of federal immigration enforcement. One such behavior, which has been widely discussed in debates over so-called sanctuary policies, is that undocumented immigrants are less likely to report crimes to the police when local law enforcement officials work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on federal immigration enforcement. However, the mechanism that explains this relationship of decreased trust in law enforcement has not yet been systematically tested. Do undocumented immigrants become less trusting of police officers and sheriffs when local law enforcement officials work with ICE on federal immigration enforcement? To answer this, we embedded an experiment that varied the interior immigration enforcement context in a survey (n = 512) drawn from a probability-based sample of undocumented immigrants. When local law enforcement officials work with ICE on federal immigration enforcement, respondents are statistically significantly less likely to say that they trust that police officers and sheriffs will keep them, their families, and their communities safe; will protect the confidentiality of witnesses to crimes even if they are undocumented; will protect the rights of all people equally, including undocumented immigrants; and will protect undocumented immigrants from abuse or discrimination."
AUTHORS
Elia Peralta
Michelle Gonzalez
Josefina Espino
Carolina Valdivia
S. Deborah Kang
Tom K. Wong
PUBLISHED
2020 in Perspectives on Politics

Add to List
Do Amnesty Programs Reduce Undocumented Immigration? Evidence from Irca
"This article examines whether mass legalization programs reduce future undocumented immigration. We focus on the effects of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted amnesty to nearly 2.7 million undocumented immigrants. We report that apprehensions of persons attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally declined immediately following passage of the law but returned to normal levels during the period when undocumented immigrants could file for amnesty and the years thereafter. Our findings suggest that the amnesty program did not change long-term patterns of undocumented immigration from Mexico."
AUTHORS
Madeline Zavodny
Pia M. Orrenius
PUBLISHED
in Demography

Add to List
Do amnesty programs reduce undocumented immigration? Evidence from IRCA.
"This article examines whether mass legalization programs reduce future undocumented immigration. We focus on the effects of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted amnesty to nearly 2.7 million undocumented immigrants. We report that apprehensions of persons attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally declined immediately following passage of the law but returned to normal levels during the period when undocumented immigrants could file for amnesty and the years thereafter. Our findings suggest that the amnesty program did not change long-term patterns of undocumented immigration from Mexico."
AUTHORS
Madeline Zavodny
Pia M Orrenius
PUBLISHED
2003 in Demography

Add to List
Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona
"Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. Unlike other studies, these data do not rely on self-reporting of criminal backgrounds. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens. Yet, there are several reasons that these numbers are likely to underestimate the share of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants.

Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up slightly over two percent of the Arizona population, they make up about eight percent of the prison population. Even after adjusting for the fact that young people commit crime at higher rates, young undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.

If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries."
PUBLISHED

Add to List
Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona
NGO FUNDING
This organization does not disclose its donors
"Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. Unlike other studies, these data do not rely on self-reporting of criminal backgrounds. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens. Yet, there are several reasons that these numbers are likely to underestimate the share of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants.

Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up slightly over two percent of the Arizona population, they make up about eight percent of the prison population. Even after adjusting for the fact that young people commit crime at higher rates, young undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.

If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries."
AUTHOR
John R. Lott
PUBLISHED
2018 by Crime Prevention Research Center (NGO)

Add to List
Immigration, crime, and incarceration in early twentieth-century America.
"The major government commissions on immigration and crime in the early twentieth century relied on evidence that suffered from aggregation bias and the absence of accurate population data, which led them to present partial and sometimes misleading views of the immigrant-native criminality comparison. With improved data and methods, we find that in 1904, prison commitment rates for more serious crimes were quite similar by nativity for all ages except ages 18 and 19, for which the commitment rate for immigrants was higher than for the native-born. By 1930, immigrants were less likely than natives to be committed to prisons at all ages 20 and older, but this advantage disappears when one looks at commitments for violent offenses. The time series pattern reflects a growing gap between natives and immigrants at older ages, one that was driven by sharp increases in the commitment rates of the native-born, while commitment rates for the foreign-born were remarkably stable."
AUTHORS
Anne Morrison Piehl
Carolyn Moehling
PUBLISHED

Add to List
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS AS PERCEIVED CRIMINAL THREAT: A TEST OF THE MINORITY THREAT PERSPECTIVE*
"The link between immigration and crime has garnered considerable attention from researchers. Although the weight of evidence suggests that immigration is not linked to crime, the public consistently views immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, as criminal and thus a threat to social order. However, little attention has been paid to why they are perceived this way. By drawing on the minority threat perspective, this article investigates the effects of objective and perceptual measures of community context on perceived criminal threat from undocumented immigrants. Analyses of data collected from four Southwest states and the U.S. Census show that the perceived size of the undocumented immigrant population, more so than the actual size of the immigrant population and economic conditions, is positively associated with perceptions of undocumented immigrants as a criminal threat. Additional analyses show that objective measures of community context do not affect native respondents’ perceptions of the size of the undocumented immigrant population. The study's findings and their implications for theory, research, and policy are discussed."
AUTHOR
XIA WANG
PUBLISHED
2012 in Criminology

Add to List
Undocumented immigrants as perceived criminal threat: A test of the minority threat perspective
"The link between immigration and crime has garnered considerable attention from researchers. Although the weight of evidence suggests that immigration is not linked to crime, the public consistently views im- migrants, especially undocumented immigrants, as criminal and thus a threat to social order. However, little attention has been paid to why they are perceived this way. By drawing on the minority threat perspective, this article investigates the effects of objective and perceptual measures of community context on perceived criminal threat from undocumented immigrants. Analyses of data collected from four Southwest states and the U.S. Census show that the perceived size of the undocumented immigrant population, more so than the actual size of the immigrant population and economic conditions, is positively associated with per- ceptions of undocumented immigrants as a criminal threat. Additional analyses show that objective measures of community context do not affect native respondents’ perceptions of the size of the undocumented immigrant population. The study’s findings and their implications for theory, research, and policy are discussed."
AUTHOR
Xia Wang
PUBLISHED
in Criminology

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Housing and neighborhood quality among undocumented mexican and central american immigrants
"Extensive research has documented the challenges that undocumented immigrants face in navigating U.S. labor markets, but relatively little has explored the impact of legal status on residential outcomes despite their widespread repercussions for social well-being. Using data from the 1996-2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to impute documentation status among Mexican and Central American immigrants, we examine group differences in residential outcomes, including homeownership, housing crowding, satisfaction with neighborhood and housing quality, problems with neighborhood crime/safety, governmental services, and environmental issues, and deficiencies with housing units. Results from our analysis indicate that undocumented householders are far less likely to be homeowners than documented migrants, and also live in more crowded homes, report greater structural deficiencies with their dwellings, and express greater concern about the quality of public services and environmental conditions in their neighborhoods. In comparison to native whites, undocumented migrants' residential circumstances are lacking, but their residential outcomes tend to be superior to those of native-born blacks. Overall, our results highlight the pervasive impact of legal status on stratifying Mexicans' and Central Americans' prospects for successful incorporation, but also underscore the rigidity of the black/nonblack divide structuring American residential contexts. © 2013 Elsevier Inc."
AUTHORS
Emily Greenman
Matthew Hall
PUBLISHED
in Social Science Research

Add to List
Housing and neighborhood quality among undocumented Mexican and Central American immigrants.
"Extensive research has documented the challenges that undocumented immigrants face in navigating U.S. labor markets, but relatively little has explored the impact of legal status on residential outcomes despite their widespread repercussions for social well-being. Using data from the 1996-2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to impute documentation status among Mexican and Central American immigrants, we examine group differences in residential outcomes, including homeownership, housing crowding, satisfaction with neighborhood and housing quality, problems with neighborhood crime/safety, governmental services, and environmental issues, and deficiencies with housing units. Results from our analysis indicate that undocumented householders are far less likely to be homeowners than documented migrants, and also live in more crowded homes, report greater structural deficiencies with their dwellings, and express greater concern about the quality of public services and environmental conditions in their neighborhoods. In comparison to native whites, undocumented migrants' residential circumstances are lacking, but their residential outcomes tend to be superior to those of native-born blacks. Overall, our results highlight the pervasive impact of legal status on stratifying Mexicans' and Central Americans' prospects for successful incorporation, but also underscore the rigidity of the black/nonblack divide structuring American residential contexts. "
AUTHORS
Emily Greenman
Matthew Hall
PUBLISHED
2013 in Social Science Research

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The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States
"This report tackles the criminalization of immigration from two angles. First, it documents
the fact that immigration is not associated with “crime” as it is commonly understood.
For more than two decades, rates of violent crime and property crime have fallen in the
United States as the immigrant population (including the unauthorized population) has
grown. Moreover, immigrants are less likely than the native-born to be behind bars or to
engage in typically “criminal behaviors.”

\n\nSecond, the report describes the ways in which
U.S. immigration laws and policies are re-defining the notion of “criminal” as it applies
to immigrants, while also ramping up the enforcement programs designed to find anyone
who might be deportable. More and more, a zero-tolerance policy has been applied by
the federal government to immigrants who commit even the slightest offense or infraction.
“Crimes” which might result in a fine or a suspended sentence for natives end up getting
immigrants detained and deported. This represents a double standard of justice for immigrants
in which the scale of the punishment (detention and deportation) far outweighs
the severity of the crime (traffic offenses, for example)."
AUTHORS
R.G. Ewing, W.A., Martínez, D.E., Rumbaut
Rubén G. Rumbaut
Daniel E. Martínez
Walter A. Ewing
PUBLISHED
2015 in American Immigration Council

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Punishing Immigrants
"Arizona’s controversial new immigration bill is just the latest of many steps in the new criminalization of immigrants. While many cite the presumed criminality of illegal aliens as an excuse for ever-harsher immigration policies, it has in fact been well-established that immigrants commit less crime, and in particular less violent crime, than the native-born and that their presence in communities is not associated with higher crime rates. Punishing Immigrants moves beyond debunking the presumed crime and immigration linkage, broadening the focus to encompass issues relevant to law and society, immigration and refugee policy, and victimization, as well as crime. The original essays in this volume uncover and identify the unanticipated and hidden consequences of immigration policies and practices here and abroad at a time when immigration to the U.S. is near an all-time high. Ultimately, Punishing Immigrants illuminates the nuanced and layered realities of immigrants’ lives, describing the varying complexities surrounding immigration, crime, law, and victimization. Podcast: Susan Bibler Coutin, on the process and effects of deportation —Listen here."
AUTHORS
Ramiro Martínez
Marjorie S. Zatz
Charis E. Kubrin
PUBLISHED
2012 in NYU Press

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Literature review
On Immigration and Crime
"The connection between immigration and crime is one of the most
contentious topics in contemporary society. These discussions are not
new, as debates on the issue date back more than 100 years. A general
point on which both pro- and anti-immigration writers agree is that,
as we enter the new millennium, the latest wave of immigration is
likely to have a more important impact on society than any other
social issue. In this essay, we survey the vast body of theoretical and
empirical works on the relationship between immigration and crime
in 20th-century America. Throughout, we include new writings as
well as older, sometimes neglected works.

\n\nWe discuss three major
theoretical perspectives that have guided explanations of the immigration/crime
link: opportunity structure, cultural approaches, and
social disorganization. We also examine empirical studies of immigrant
involvement in crime. We conclude with a review of public
opinion about immigrants, especially as it relates to immigrants and
crime, and then provide original data on the connection between public
opinion and immigrant crime.

\n \nThere are important reasons to believe that immigrants should be
involved in crime to a greater degree than native-born Americans. For
example, immigrants face acculturation and assimilation problems
that most natives do not, and immigrants tend to settle in disorganized neighborhoods characterized by structural characteristics often associated
with crime, such as widespread poverty, ethnic heterogeneity, and a preponderance
of young males. However, despite claims by pundits and writers that
high levels of “immigrant crime” are an unavoidable product of immigration,
scholars rarely produce any systematic evidence of this recently
reemerging social problem.

\n \n Although a host of reasons exists to expect that immigrants are high-crime
prone, the bulk of empirical studies conducted over the past century have
found that immigrants are typically underrepresented in criminal statistics.
There are some partial exceptions to this finding, but these appear to be
linked more to differences in structural conditions across urban areas where
immigrants settle rather than to the cultural traditions of the immigrant
groups. Local context is a central influence shaping the criminal involvement
of both immigrants and natives, but in many cases, compared with
native groups, immigrants seem better able to withstand crime-facilitating
conditions than native groups.

\n\nIn conclusion, this review suggests that native
groups would profit from a better understanding of how immigrant groups
faced with adverse social conditions maintain low rates of crime."
AUTHORS
Ramiro Martinez Jr.
Matthew T. Lee
PUBLISHED
2000 in Criminal Justice

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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
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Does deporting undocumented immigrants reduce crime?
3 studies
Submitted by: GFarahani 0

Does granting legal status to undocumented immigrants reduce their likelihood of committing crime?
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Do legal immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans?
44 studies
Submitted by: LWong 0

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