Politics Magazine

Immigrants Are Actually Less Likely To Commit Crimes

Posted on the 03 September 2015 by Jobsanger
Immigrants Are Actually Less Likely To Commit Crimes (The image above is from Government Book Talk.)
In an appeal to the baser instincts of Republican voters, Donald Trump recently attacked immigrants (especially undocumented immigrants). He said Mexico was sending us their worst -- criminals, rapists, and killers. It was an outrageous statement, but it has worked for him -- propelling him to the lead in the GOP presidential race.
The truth is that Mexico is not sending us anyone. Those who come to this country do so on their own -- to provide a better future for their families. And most of them are honest and hard-working people who obey the law. And immigrants (especially undocumented immigrants) are less likely to break our laws than someone born in this country. They know that the quickest way to be found and deported is to get caught breaking the law (even in a minor way).
A University of Texas study verifies this. The study only looks at immigrant teens, but I have no doubt it could be widened to include all immigrant adults, and the same results would be seen. After all, these teens are acting out what they have been taught by their parents.
Here is how the study is described in the Austin American-Statesman:
Immigrant teenagers are less likely than their American-born counterparts to get into fights, carry guns or use drugs, according to results of a University of Texas study released Tuesday. The study also indicates that immigrant youths are more likely to report coming from close families, having positive engagement at school and holding disapproving views about drug use. Researchers found that violent behavior and drug use were lower among those who had spent fewer than five years in the United States, and among those who had come to this country at age 12 or older. “In recent years, as we have seen growth in the number of immigrants in United States, we have also witnessed rising concern that immigrants may present a threat to American society,” said social work professor Christopher Salas-Wright, who led the study. “Our research adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that, despite experiencing adversity on multiple fronts, immigrants are substantially less likely than those born in the United States to be involved in antisocial and risky behavior.” Other study findings include: • Immigrant teens are 50 percent less likely than American-born youths to report participating in binge drinking, drug use and drug selling. • Immigrants who arrived at age 12 or older are only one-third as likely as U.S.-born teens to have recently sold illegal drugs or used cannabis. • The odds of involvement in serious violent attacks and handgun carrying are 33 percent lower among older immigrant adolescents (ages 15-17), than among their U.S.-born peers. The study, published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, drew on U.S. demographic data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health collected between 2002 and 2009.

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