Four Studies: Illegal immigrants are generally law abiding

(TFC) – Despite what the President of the United States constantly asserts. Immigrants are not responsible for an upswing in violent crime. Four studies provide clear evidence to back that up. In fact, undocumented immigration seems to reduce violent crime stats.

University of Wisconsin criminologist, Michael Light conducted the study of data spanning from 1990 to 2014. He put it bluntly:

“Increased undocumented immigration since 1990 has not increased violent crime over that same time period.”

In the abstract of the study, the methodology is explained:

“[W]e 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.”

In a separate study, he examined whether an influx of undocumented immigrants increased drug and alcohol arrests or the number of drug overdoses and DUI deaths. Again speaking very bluntly, he said:

“We found no evidence that undocumented immigration increases the prevalence of any of those outcomes.”

In yet another study, this time conducted by the Cato Institute, researchers examined Texas in particular and sought to determine whether immigrants had higher arrest and conviction rates than US natives. The study focused on homicide, sexual assault, and larceny. In every category, immigrants had lower rates than natives. In most cases, the discrepancies were huge. However, when only comparing the data for sexual assaults committed by undocumented immigrants to Native-born Americans, it was found that undocumented immigrants had a higher rate by 0.8 per 100,000. American homicide rates were 1.7 per 100,000 higher and larceny rates for native-born citizens were more than triple those of illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants lower rates across all metrics.

A fourth study suggests that youthful undocumented offenders engage in less crime. However, The Fifth Column’s analysis of the study found it relied heavily on self-reported data and therefore should be given less weight than the preceding three studies. The results of the study, regardless of methodology, echo the results from other studies.

When taken together, the results of almost 25 years of data are clear. Illegal immigrants are more law-abiding than citizens born in the United States. The only way to obtain another conclusion is to cherry pick data from a specific state, crime, abbreviated time period, or immigration status. In short, science is clear: illegal immigrants aren’t villains.

The question Americans must ask themselves faced with such data: do we really need to empty the treasury to build a wall while our bridges, roads, and other infrastructure crumbles?