Do Immigrants Make America Safer?

Publication — vice.com. Article “How Immigrants Make Community Safer”

President Donald Trump made a lot of promises during his campaign. One of them was to return to “law and order”. Since he took a position in the White House, he has attempted to fulfill that promise through controversial policies, which are thin on substance and out of touch with crime statistics (nytimes.com; washingtonpost.com). One of the things he is targeting the most is immigration, as according him it is driver of violent crime, when in reality it might have the opposite effect.

Several studies, like NBER Working Paper Series “WHY ARE IMMIGRANTS’ INCARCERATION RATES SO LOW? EVIDENCE ON SELECTIVE IMMIGRATION, DETERRENCE, AND DEPORTATION” denies the assumption that immigrants are violent criminals like Trump makes them out to be. If fact, these studies consistently show that hey commit less crime then native-born Americans. Even though data that would back up these statements is hard to collect, this appears to be true of both authorizes and unauthorized immigrants, according to americanimmigrationcouncil.org. Also some findings prove that crime declines in areas that immigrants live.

“Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice” recently published research that analyzed FBI crime data across 200 areas from 1970 to 2010. After analyzing data for age, level of unemployment, labor market structure and other factors researches found a reduction of almost 5 violent crimes per 100.000 residents for every 1 percent increase in the immigrant population. New York, Chicago, Miami and El Paso were also exanimated and researches found, that violent crime and homicide rates are not higher, but in some areas with more with more foreign — born — lower. All of this might be a reason why crime dropped 48 percent over the same period that America’s population grew from 3.5 million to 11.2 million.

In the Canarsie section of Brooklyn researchers together with Americas Society and Council of the America found that in the 1990s neighborhoods depopulation and disinvestment was controlled by an influx of immigrants, mostly from the Caribbean. And today Canarsie is city with below average rates of poverty. Also crime rate in the area has dropped 44 percent below cities average in 1990.

There are rational reasons why immigration should reduce crime. People who have a determination to change their life and start it from beginning in the new country are less likely to want to destroy it. Often they come here to create a good life, and it means that they will work hard, create businesses and work places, or work for the community, either ways bringing economic up. Furthermore, some of the immigrants come to America to work so they would be able to support their family’s elsewhere. They are unlikely to be willing to commit crime, as that would mean that their families would be left without support. Also, immigrants who create families want their children to take the best chances, and give a lot of effort to educate their children. And education is one of the triggers that can help to reduce crime.

President Donald Trump said “We will make America Great again!”. Perhaps to achieve that America needs immigrants after all?

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