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Does Illegal Immigration Relate to Higher Crime Incidence?



PRO (yes)

Malia Zimmerman, Investigative Reporter at Foxnews.com, in a Sep. 16, 2015 article, "Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals," available at foxnews.com, stated:

"In the absence of comprehensive data, FoxNews.com examined a patchwork of local, state and federal statistics that revealed a wildly disproportionate number of murderers, rapists and drug dealers are crossing into the U.S. amid the wave of hard-working families seeking a better life. The explosive figures show illegal immigrants are three times as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population and account for far more crimes than their 3.5-percent share of the U.S. population would suggest…

FoxNews.com did review reports from immigration reform groups and various government agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Sentencing Commission, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Government Accountability Office, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and several state and county correctional departments. Statistics show the estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced for crimes committed in the U.S. Twelve percent of murder sentences, 20 percent of kidnapping sentences and 16 percent of drug trafficking sentences are meted out to illegal immigrants."

Sep. 16, 2015 - Malia Zimmerman 



Michael Snyder, LLM, author and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, in a July 14, 2015 article, "10 Horribly Violent Crimes That Were Committed by Illegal Immigrants," available at breitbart.com, stated:

"Yes, illegal immigrants are responsible for lots of crime in this country.

In recent years, nearly 1000 illegal immigrants have been convicted of committing sex crimes against children in the state of Texas alone. And as you will read about below, illegal immigrants have a murder rate that is 3 to 10 times higher than the general population. So anyone that suggests that illegal immigrants don't commit more crime than the rest of us is simply lying to you. Unfortunately, even though we could prevent thousands upon thousands of violent crimes by securing our borders, the Obama administration refuses to do so and it has become very politically incorrect to even talk about this. Every single day, American citizens are being murdered and raped by people that should not be in this country and yet nobody is supposed to address this issue."

July 14, 2015 - Michael Snyder, LLM 



Randall Hoven, MS, Electrical and Systems Engineering Lecturer at Washington University and retired Boeing Technical Fellow, in a July 13, 2015 article, "Illegal Aliens Murder at a Much Higher Rate Than US Citizens Do," available at the American Thinker website, stated:

"Let's take homicide as an example. The GAO estimates 'criminal aliens' were arrested, convicted and incarcerated for 25,064 homicides. If non-citizens committed them over seven years, the annual rate would be 14.2 per 100,000 non-citizens. If illegal aliens committed them over four years, the annual rate would be 58.0 per 100,000 illegal aliens. Either way you compute, those are high rates.

By comparison, the FBI reports the murder rates for the entire U.S. from 2003 through 2009 varied from 5.0 to 5.8 per 100,000 inhabitants for an average rate of 5.5. To be clear, 5.5 is much lower than either 14.2 or 58.0.

Or look at the total number of homicides in those years. Per the FBI, there were 67,642 murders in the U.S. from 2005 through 2008, and 115,717 from 2003 through 2009. Per the GAO, criminal aliens committed 25,064 of them. That means they committed 22% to 37% of all murders in the U.S., while being only 3.52% to 8.25% of the population.

Conclusion: criminal and illegal aliens commit murder at much higher rates than all inhabitants of the U.S. – at least 3 to 10 times higher."

July 13, 2015 - Randall Hoven, MS 



Peter Kirsanow, JD, attorney and member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, in an Oct. 1, 2015 article, "Americans Are Right to Worry about Illegal Aliens and Crime," available at the National Review website, stated:

"[I]n three of the five states above [Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas], incarceration rates for murder and manslaughter were far higher for illegal aliens than for legal residents. Incarceration rates for murder are an imperfect proxy for rates of murders committed (illegal aliens may be more likely to be apprehended, have less competent counsel, etc.), but it's difficult to contend that illegal aliens are more law-abiding than legal residents — at least when it comes to major crimes. And it's even more difficult to contend that Americans' concern about crimes committed by illegal aliens is overblown.

Regardless, comparative crime rates are less important than the absolute number of crimes committed by illegal aliens. Look at California, where approximately 2,430 illegal aliens are in prison just for homicide-related offenses. Even if one assumes that each illegal alien so imprisoned was responsible for just one homicide-related offense, that amounts to about a couple thousand major crimes that, arguably, wouldn't have occurred but for the actors’ unlawful presence in the United States. That translates to thousands of American citizens (and others) across the country slaughtered by individuals who shouldn’t have been here in the first place."

Oct. 1, 2015 - Peter Kirsanow, JD 



Brandon Darby, journalist and FBI informant, in a July 12, 2015 article, “Verifiable Deception Used to Attack Donald Trump on Illegal Immigrant Crime Rates,” available at breitbart.com

"We know that illegal aliens sometimes join together to lure, trap, and murder U.S. Border Patrol agents. We know that some illegal aliens serve as human traffickers (not to be confused with helping smuggle people.) We know that some illegal aliens rape other illegal aliens on U.S. soil.

We know that in a three-day span of 2014, 50 previously convicted felon illegal aliens were apprehended in Texas by U.S. immigration authorities. The crimes included rapes, sexual assaults, drug possession, robbery, and other assaults.

We know that some illegal aliens run stash houses in Texas and keep nearly 100 people against their will… We know that many illegal aliens are MS-13 gang members and go on murderous rampages in the United States… We know that some illegal aliens work for Mexican cartels and enter the U.S. to carry out assassination plots here. We know that Mexican cartels are expanding meth operations in the U.S. and that they send illegal aliens here to run their U.S. operations for them.

We know that illegal aliens sometimes come to the U.S. to attack and ruthlessly beat elderly women to the point of unconsciousness.

We know that many illegal aliens who come through Mexico into the U.S. are from terror nations in the Horn of Africa."

July 12, 2015 - Brandon Darby 



Peter B. Gemma, National Executive Committee Member of the Constitution Party at the time of the quote, in an article, "Illegal Alien Crime and Violence by the Numbers: We're All Victims," accessed on Apr. 25, 2016 and available at the Constitution Party website, stated:

"75 percent of those on the most wanted criminals list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.

One quarter of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals, as are more than 40 percent of all inmates in Arizona and 48 percent in New Mexico jails.

Over 53 percent of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens.

63 percent of cited drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that number, 97 percent are illegal aliens. 66 percent of cited drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66 percent, 98 percent are illegal aliens."

Apr. 25, 2016 - Peter B. Gemma 



The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in a Mar. 2007 website article entitled "Illegal Aliens and Crime Incidence," offered the following:

"Most Americans equate illegal aliens with a higher incidence of crime... in fact, data show that the American public understands the facts better than the academics. Adult illegal aliens represented 3.1 percent of the total adult population of the country in 2003. By comparison, the illegal alien prison population represented a bit more than 4.54 percent of the overall prison population. Therefore, deportable criminal aliens were more than half again as likely to be incarcerated as their share of the population.

Their presence in the United States is based on their either illegally entering the country or entering under false pretenses. Those who sneak into the country undergo no form of screening for criminality or any other grounds for exclusion... [I]llegal aliens... end up being co-opted into criminal activity."

Mar. 2007 - Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) 



Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, PhD, Criminal Profiler and Founder of the Violent Crimes Institute, in a 2006 article entitled "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants in the United States," wrote:

"After conducting a 12 month in-depth study of illegal immigrants who committed sex crimes and murders for the time period of January 1999 through April 2006 , it is clear that the U.S. public faces a dangerous threat from sex predators who cross the U.S. borders illegally... Offenders were located in 36 states, but it is clear, that the most of the offenders were located in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants.

Illegal immigrants who commit sex crimes first cross the U.S. border illegally... There is a clear pattern of criminal escalation. From misdemeanors such as assault or DUI, to drug offenses, illegal immigrants who commit sex crimes break U.S. laws repeatedly... Their attacks are particularly brutal, and they use a hands-on method of controlling and/or killing their victims."

2006 - Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, PhD 



Jim Kouri, MA, Vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, in an Aug. 4, 2005 American Chronicle article entitled "Illegal Alien Crime Wave in Full Swing," wrote:

"Complex problems are associated with illegal aliens who commit crimes... aliens do not confine their criminal activities to border cities. Communities throughout this country are experiencing increasing alien involvement in drug importation and distribution, weapons smuggling, and violence against persons and property. The escalation in alien crime has placed added demands on state and local law enforcement personnel.

In the [2005 U.S. Justice Department] population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien."

Aug. 4, 2005 - Jim Kouri, MA 



The Family Security Matters, an online national security advocacy group, in a Feb. 16, 2007 website article entitled "Illegal Aliens Kill More Americans Than Iraq War," stated:

"Defendants charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies. All of these crimes would have never happened, i.e. they were preventable, has [sic] we had a serious program of deportation of the illegal aliens already here and proper border security to prevent both entry and re-entry... To get the full extent of the collateral damage, we need to apply the average number of offenses across all 267,000 currently incarcerated illegal alien criminals. Doing so results in 1,288,619 crimes!

Don't let the mainstream media and illegal alien advocates tell you that illegal immigration is a 'victimless crime' and that they are here only to do the work Americans don't want to do. Since each crime has a victim, 1,288,619 sounds like a lot of victimization to us. Also keep in mind that the 1,288,619 crimes are only the ones committed by the hard core illegal alien criminals who were finally caught and incarcerated. The ones not caught and the new criminals crossing daily are committing more crime each and every day."

Feb. 16, 2007 - Family Security Matters (FSM) 



CON (no)

Alan Gomez, Immigration Reporter at USA Today, in a July 15, 2015 article, "Voices: How Violent Are Undocumented Immigrants?," available at usatoday.com, stated:

"The reporter in me wishes there was a more definitive way of comparing crime rates for undocumented immigrants and the American-born population. But using the data we have, it seems impossible to responsibly claim that those immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than their American-born neighbors."

July 15, 2015 - Alan Gomez 



Walter A. Ewing, PhD, Senior Researcher at the American Immigration Council, Daniel E. Martinez, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and inaugural director of the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at The George Washington University, and Ruben G. Rumbaut, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, in a July 13, 2015 article "The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States," available at the American Immigration Council website, stated:

"Between 1990 and 2013, the foreign-born share of the U.S. population grew from 7.9 percent to 13.1 percent and the number of unauthorized immigrants more than tripled from 3.5 million to 11.2 million.

During the same period, FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate declined 48 percent—which included falling rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Likewise, the property crime rate fell 41 percent, including declining rates of motor vehicle theft, larceny/robbery, and burglary."

July 13, 2015 - Ruben G. Rumbaut, PhD 
Daniel E. Martinez, PhD 
Walter A. Ewing, PhD 



Rupert Murdoch, MA, Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, in a July 12, 2015 pair of Twitter posts, available at twitter.com, stated:

"Mexican immigrants, as with all immigrants, have much lower crime rates than native born. Eg El Paso safest city in U.S. Trump wrong.

So FBI says 267,000 illegal aliens incarcerated. Who are the other two million presently incarcerated? Seems like social breakdown."

July 12, 2015 - Rupert Murdoch, MA 



Jason L. Riley, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Wall Street Journal contributor, in a July 14, 2015, article, "The Mythical Connection between Immigrants and Crime," available at wsj.com, stated:

"High-profile incidents, like the recent arrest of a Mexican national in the horrific shooting death of a young woman in San Francisco [Kathryn Steinle on July 1, 2015], can give the impression that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes. But the alleged killer is no more representative of Mexican immigrants than Dylann Roof is representative of white people.

Every immigrant here illegally has already broken a law, though that doesn't mean they are predisposed to crime."

July 14, 2015 - Jason L. Riley 



David FitzGerald, PhD, Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, in a July 7, 2015 article, "This Proves Donald Trump Is Lying: Here Are the Actual Facts on Immigrants and Crime," available at salon.com, stated:

"Here is what you need to know: [legal and undocumented] immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States…

The 2000 census shows that in all racial categories, immigrants are much less likely to be incarcerated than their U.S.-born counterparts. Men born in Mexico had an incarceration rate five times lower than the U.S.-born population as a whole…

If immigrants were disproportionately likely to commit crimes, we would expect to see higher crime rates when and where immigrants arrive. Yet the opposite holds true. From 1994 to 2007, the number of immigrants per capita living in the United States rose from about 9 to 13 percent of the population. At the same time, FBI reports show that the rate of violent crime declined 34.2 percent. The property crime rate fell 26.4 percent.

Cities with large immigrant populations such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York also experienced declining crime rates during this period. The 2008 California study found that cities with relatively larger inflows of immigrants between 2000 and 2005 tended to see lower rates of violent crime. Contrary to the image of crime spilling across the border, FBI records show that rates of murder and other violent crimes are lower in U.S. cities within 100 miles of the border. The lowest murder rate of any U.S. city over 500,000 is El Paso, Texas."

July 7, 2015 - David FitzGerald, PhD 



Alex Nowrasteh, MSc, Immigration Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, in a July 14, 2015 article, "Immigration and Crime – What the Research Says," available at cato.org, stated:

"Both the Census-data driven studies and macro-level studies find that immigrants are less crime-prone than natives with some small potential exceptions. There are numerous reasons why immigrant criminality is lower than native criminality. One explanation is that immigrants who commit crimes can be deported and thus are punished more for criminal behavior, making them less likely to break the law.

Another explanation is that immigrants self-select for those willing to work rather than those willing to commit crimes. According to this 'healthy immigrant thesis,' motivated and ambitious foreigners are more likely to immigrate and those folks are less likely to be criminals. This could explain why immigrants are less likely to engage in 'anti-social' behaviors than natives despite having lower incomes. It’s also possible that more effective interior immigration enforcement is catching and deporting unlawful immigrants who are more likely to be criminals before they have a chance to be incarcerated."

July 14, 2015 - Alex Nowrasteh, MSc 



The Public Policy Institute of California, in a June 2008 “Just the Facts” publication, “Immigrants and Crime,” available at ppic.org, stated:

"The incarceration rate for foreign?born adults [legal and undocumented] is 297 per 100,000 in the population, compared to 813 per 100,000 for U.S.?born adults. The foreign?born, who make up roughly 35% of California’s adult population, constitute 17% of the state prison population, a proportion that has remained fairly constant since 1990...

Among men ages 18?40, the foreign?born have an institutionalization rate of 420 per 100,000 in the population, compared to 4,200 per 100,000 for the native?born. The wider institutionalized population includes those in jails, halfway houses, and similar institutions where youths and others convicted of less serious crimes are housed."

June 2008 - Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) 



William F. McDonald, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology and Co-Director of the Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure at Georgetown University Law Center, in a July 12, 2006 testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing entitled "Examining the Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Part II," stated:

"The criminality of the first generation of immigrants (those who migrated as opposed to their children) is less than that of the native-born. There have been many studies in the United States and abroad that have addressed the question of the criminality of immigrants...

[T]here is little reason to believe that the findings would be substantially different for illegal immigrants assuming data were available that would allow us to make the necessary statistical controls for age, sex, economic status and immigrant status. Public fears about immigrant criminality have usually not been born out by research."

July 12, 2006 - William F. McDonald, PhD 



Seth Abramson, JD, Staff Attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender, in an Apr. 10, 2006 The Suburban Ecstasies blog article entitled "Newsflash: Illegal Immigrants Are Not Criminals Merely By Virtue of Their Presence in This Country," wrote:

"If I had to estimate from my own experiences with more than a thousand clients in New Hampshire, I'd guess that illegal immigrants commit all other offenses, particularly criminal offenses, at a rate lower than white citizens do, at least in New Hampshire; moreover, they are marginally more likely than my white clients to be employed."

Apr. 10, 2006 - Seth Abramson, JD 



Ruben G. Rumbaut, PhD, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and Walter A. Ewing, PhD, Research Associate at the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF), in a Spring 2007 Immigration Policy Center report entitled "The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation: Incarceration Rates among Native and Foreign-Born Men," concluded that:

"Because many immigrants to the United States, especially Mexicans and Central Americans, are young men who arrive with very low levels of formal education, popular stereotypes tend to associate them with higher rates of crime and incarceration. The fact that many of these immigrants enter the country through unauthorized channels or overstay their visas often is framed as an assault against the 'rule of law,' thereby reinforcing the impression that immigration and criminality are linked. This association has flourished in a post-9/11 climate of fear and ignorance where terrorism and undocumented immigration often are mentioned in the same breath.

However, data from the census and other sources show that for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated. This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the undocumented population. The problem of crime in the United States is not 'caused' or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status. But the misperception that the opposite is true persists among policymakers, the media, and the general public, thereby undermining the development of reasoned public responses to both crime and immigration."

Spring 2007 - Walter A. Ewing, PhD 
Ruben G. Rumbaut, PhD 



John Hagan, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University, and Alberto Palloni, PhD, Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, in a Nov. 1999 Social Problems essay entitled "Sociological Criminology and the Mythology of Hispanic Immigration and Crime," concluded that:

"Our sociological knowledge of crime is fragmented and ineffective in challenging and correcting mistaken public perceptions, for example, linking immigration and crime. These misperceptions are perpetuated by government reports of growing numbers of Hispanic immigrants in U.S. prisons...

[I]t is estimated that the involvement of Hispanic immigrants in crime is less than that of citizens. These results cast doubt on the hypothesis that immigration causes crime and make more transparent the immigration and criminal justice policies that inflate the rate of Hispanic incarceration."

Nov. 1999 - John Hagan, PhD 
Alberto Palloni, PhD