Immigration

Research shows that as immigration increases, violent crime decreases

President Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015 with a speech damning Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” conceding only that “some,” he “assumed” were “good people.”

From that first speech onward, Trump seized an opportunity to sweepingly demonize Mexican communities by focusing solely on crimes and violence committed by undocumented immigrants, but not the many crimes of white Americans. Now, as president, he’s wasted no time implementing the mass deportations he promised, even attempting to sweepingly ban immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries on the heels of his Islamophobic campaign.

Despite the Trump administration’s portrayals of Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants as terrorists and rapists respectively, decades of research casts doubt on his associations of these groups with higher rates of crime. Just last week, Scientific American ran a compilation of research by the University of Alabama, the University of California, Irvine, and the College of William and Mary.

The most striking finding from our research is that for murder, robbery, burglary and larceny, as immigration increased, crime decreased, on average, in American metropolitan areas. The only crime that immigration had no impact on was aggravated assault. These associations are strong and stable evidence that immigration does not cause crime to increase in U.S. metropolitan areas, and may even help reduce it.

“Although there are always individual exceptions, the literature demonstrates that immigrants commit fewer crimes, on average, than native-born Americans,” the research noted.

Additionally, “large cities with substantial immigrant populations have lower crime rates, on average, than those with minimal immigrant populations.”

While correlation does not equate causation, the fact that increased rates of immigration correlate with decreased rates of crime and violence directly refutes Trump’s claim, making his fixation on the acts of individual Mexican immigrants and refugees even more detestable.

“The most striking finding from our research is that for murder, robbery, burglary and larceny, as immigration increased, crime decreased, on average, in American metropolitan areas,” Scientific American states.

This is the case not just now, but in fact, for the past two decades, during which “no backing for the immigration-crime connection” has ever been found by researchers.

Last week, in a characteristically childish response to accusations that his chief adviser, Steve Bannon, was the real president, Trump tweeted: “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it.”

But with his stances contradicting essentially all modern research about climate change, public health, vaccines, and now, rates of crime and immigration, it’s difficult to take him seriously.

Featured image via YouTube

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  1. Lou

    February 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Violent crime rates have been going down for decades. Immigration, or the lack thereof, has nothing to do with it.
    You said it right in the article – correlation is NOT causation. Period, end of story.

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