Conservatives continue to fight the immigration reform bill with an argument that more immigration means more crime. They point to recent terrorist actions by immigrants as an example of why immigration reform should not now be advanced. However, in California and elsewhere it appears that immigration does not increase crime rates and may in fact lower them.
A recent study reported in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences concludes that there is no link between immigration and crime. The Latino immigration factor has almost no net effect on total crime, according to the report. Actually, Latino immigration is correlated with slightly less violence. Other surveys back up these results.
The study was done primarily based on New York City statistics. However, one study of several American cities from 1990 to 2000 found that where there were the largest increases in immigration there were also the largest decreases in homicide and robbery. One theory for this characteristic is that immigrants, both legal and illegal, are focused more on economic advancement and are more committed to close-knit family units. Having no deportation defense, illegal immigrants also fear more the results of law-breaking activities.
These consistent figures hold up through several studies on the subject. They give a big boost, both in California and nationally, for support of immigration reform. Once again popular prejudices about the immigration population are being melted away by the sunlight of true facts. If you need answers to immigration questions in California, try consulting with immigration law counsel, who can guide you through the options and procedures to normalize your situation. This may be an opportune time to file immigration papers and get a head start on the new, more open opportunities that you may get under the new federal reform law.
Source: tv.msnbc.com, “Study: Immigration lowers crime,” Ari Melber, May 28, 2013