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Unfounded claim: Violent crime rises near undocumented immigrants

On Behalf of | May 15, 2019 | Immigration Law

One of the common claims that you see in the mass media regarding immigration is that there is an uptick in criminal activities where there are undocumented immigrants. Despite that claim coming from some high-profile individuals, studies have shown that there isn’t a correlation between undocumented individuals and violent crime.

The purported ties between crime and immigration matters seem to be based on assumptions instead of a look at the data for areas with large undocumented populations. In fact, there are some interesting trends that have been noted in these areas.

A recent study

One recent study was conducted by Pew Research Center to determine the number of undocumented individuals in 180 areas classified as metropolitan. The Marshall Project used that information to compare to the property and violent crime statistics in those areas.

In the study, it was noted that the rise and fall of undocumented individuals in those areas didn’t have a big impact on property or violent crime. There did appear to be a dip in these types of crimes when the number of undocumented individuals increased, but it was a small difference that couldn’t be definitively tied to any immigration matters.

Past studies

The study done by the Marshall Project cited another study in the report. The Cato Institute looked into crime and undocumented immigrants in Texas. It found that the individuals who are here with legal paperwork commit fewer crimes than people who were born here. The academic journal Criminology found that there is a decrease in violent crime that is likely to come with an influx of immigrants without documentation.

Even though it seems like there isn’t any reason to fear undocumented immigrants coming into the country, laws are being passed to make immigration laws harsher. A person who wants to immigrate here must decide if they are going to be able to work through the process to have proper documentation when they come or if they need to take a chance at coming here without it. Weighing these options can be difficult.

Anyone going through an immigration case should ensure they are working with someone familiar with the most recent laws and guidelines in California. This can determine how to handle the circumstances of your case, and it may make it easier to learn of potential challenges during the journey.