Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nope, Research Doesn't Really Link Migrants to Crime in the US

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 10:02 AM

Blaming immigrants for high crime rates in the United States and Europe is a rhetoric that is getting old—and isn't backed up by research, according to the Washington-based nonprofit American Immigration Council.

"Immigrants have always been a convenient scapegoat," Walter A. Ewing, a senior researcher at the nonprofit told the New York Times on Wednesday. "It's always easy to blame the other group for all of society's problems..."
While the immigration circumstances of Europe and the United States are obviously different, he said, "there's a universality to xenophobia, a knee-jerk reaction. It's fear, lashing out at what you're afraid of."
Ewing, along with University of California, Irvine, sociology professor Rubén G. Rumbaut, and Daniel E. Martinez, assistant sociology professor at George Washington University, released a study in July of last year that used census data, FBI data and other statistics to strike down stereotypes about immigrants, the Times says.

One finding is that between 1990 and 2013, the foreign-born population in the U.S. nearly doubled, and the undocumented immigrants population more than tripled, yet violent crimes declined by 48 percent and property crime fell by 41 percent, the Times article says.

The study also showed that more native-born Americans are incarcerated than migrants.
Such findings, the study said, reiterated what other research had confirmed for more than a century: "The overwhelming majority of immigrants are not 'criminals' by any commonly accepted definition of the term."
"An immigrant does not come here to commit crimes and get on welfare," Rumbaut told the Times. "They come here to work harder than native-born people do."

Donald Trump should do some reading before he calls all Mexican immigrants (and with that, all Latin American immigrants, because let's not pretend he knows the difference between Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico), rapists and murderers. 

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