Donald Trump’s never-ending crusade against immigration has focused primarily on crime. Since he first described Mexicans as “rapists” while announcing his candidacy three years ago this June, the idea that brown people are storming the border to kill innocent Americans has been the thrust of Trump’s political appeal. At any given point of his presidency, he’s never been more than a few days removed from belaboring the point. “The crime that comes in is unbelievable,” he said last week during an anti-immigration rant at a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida.
But studies have shown there is no correlation between immigration and rising crime rates. Republicans have countered by saying that though this may be true of legal immigration, there is indeed a relationship between crime and undocumented immigration. But this isn’t true, either, according to a new study by the Marshall Project.
Using new Pew Research Center estimates of the population of undocumented immigrants in 180 metropolitan areas, the Marshall Project looked at local rates of violent crime and property crime published by the FBI to assess the impact of undocumented immigration. Not did crime rates decrease in accordance with decades-old trends regardless of whether an area’s population of undocumented immigrants rose or fell, “areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime rates, although the difference was small and uncertain.”
The Marshall Project went on to cite other studies that have reached similar conclusions: a Cato Institute study that found undocumented immigrants in Texas commit fewer crimes than natives; another Cato Institute study that found undocumented immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives; and an analysis by the Criminology academic journal that found, if anything, undocumented immigration led to a decrease in violent crime.
By Ryan Bort for ROLLING STONE
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