As of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse. But is it true that immigration drives crime? Many studies have shown that it does not.Crime has gone down in the last 40 years, for reasons that have little or nothing to do with immigration. Everyone agrees to that.
Immigrant populations in the United States have been growing fast for decades now. Crime in the same period, however, has moved in the opposite direction, with the national rate of violent crime today well below what it was in 1980.
In a large-scale collaboration by four universities, led by Robert Adelman, a sociologist at the State University of New York at Buffalo, researchers compared immigration rates with crime rates for 200 metropolitan areas over the last several decades. The selected areas included huge urban hubs like New York and smaller manufacturing centers less than a hundredth that size, like Muncie, Ind., and were dispersed geographically across the country.
According to data from the study, a large majority of the areas have many more immigrants today than they did in 1980 and fewer violent crimes. The Marshall Project extended the study’s data up to 2016, showing that crime fell more often than it rose even as immigrant populations grew almost across the board.
In 136 metro areas, almost 70 percent of those studied, the immigrant population increased between 1980 and 2016 while crime stayed stable or fell. The number of areas where crime and immigration both increased was much lower — 54 areas, slightly more than a quarter of the total. The 10 places with the largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980.
Do immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than the native white population? It appears that this study does not address the issue. (I cannot tell for sure, as the article is paywalled. It is funny to see the NY Times complain about research that is not publicly available.)
Where I live, most of the reported crime is immigrant-related. This is especially true of violent and gang-related crimes.
I would count the Orlando nightclub shooting as immigrant-related, as the shooter's parents are Afghan immigrants. This study does not, as is therefore ignoring much of the crime that is caused by immigration.
The NY Times is ideologically pro-immigration, and it is lying to us about the crime that it is causing.