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Immigration and crime are not connected, says research

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In contrast to claims by Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump, research indicates that assumptions that immigration leads to increase in crime or that immigrants pose threat to natives are incorrect.  

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions slamming California on Wednesday for “irrational, unfair, unconstitutional policies,” has become the latest instance how some individuals link crime and immigration.

“California is using every power it has — and some it doesn’t — to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them,” Sessions said. “We are going to fight these irrational, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you and our federal officers. We are fighting to make your jobs safer and to help you reduce crime in America. We are fighting to have a lawful system of immigration that serves Americans. And we intend to win.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune points out that Sessions’ remarks match the language used in Trump’s executive order of January 2017. “Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety,” the order said.

The organization, however, elaborates that research indicates that immigration and crime are not related in the way Trump or Sessions present.

“For one, immigrants tend to have lower incarceration rates than native-born residents in the U.S., according to a 2007 research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research,” it said.

Another study in 2015 by the American Immigration Council concluded: “[R]oughly 1.6 percent of immigrant males 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born. The disparity in incarceration rates has existed for decades, as evidenced by data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial census. In each of those years, the incarceration rates of the native-born were anywhere from two to five times higher than that of immigrants.”

Coming back to the crime situation in California, the article said that only two counties, Los Angeles and Kern, have seen an increase in both violent and property crime. Furthermore, the article said, “Several news organizations including Politifact and The Texas Tribune have concluded that border cities like San Diego and El Paso, Texas, are some of the safest cities in the nation.”