Crime is the rallying cry behind the debate about restricting immigration in America. Although studies have demonstrated year after year that immigrants do not commit more crime then native-born Americans, the anti-immigrant proponents continue to insinuate that restricting immigration is for the safety of Americans.

The studies about whether immigrants commit more crimes consistently prove that immigrants do not cause more crime in their communities. As a matter of fact, study after study shows that immigrants benefit the communities they reside in.

The anti-immigrants counter that the report results are invalid because the reports do not separate immigrants between legal and undocumented. The other argument made by the anti-immigrants is that the studies do not include all criminal activity, focusing only on homicides and violent crimes.

To address these arguments, The Marshall Project, a highly respected journalism nonprofit focused on criminal justice published an update to their original analysis of immigrants and crime. The new crime analysis focuses on the question of how undocumented immigrants affect crime rates in their communities.

Not only did the new research support that previous studies that immigrants cause less crime then their native-born brethren, but that the new research suggests that the presence of undocumented immigrants in a community demonstrates a “slight decrease” in property crime in their neighborhoods.

Yes, the report points out that when undocumented live in a neighborhood, property crime in that neighborhood is “slightly” less than in the communities that do not have as many undocumented in their midst.

The results for violent crimes was similar.

The report adds that “areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime rates, although the difference was small and uncertain.” Regardless of the qualifier, immigrants in America do not cause a rise in crime in their communities and in many cases help to reduce crime.

The anti-immigrants also argue that the fact an undocumented immigrant is in America, is a crime on its face because of their undocumented status.

However, the fact is that being undocumented is many times a civil violation and sometimes, depending on several factors can be a misdemeanor.

This latest report as well as several others confirm that immigrants benefits their communities culturally and economically. Immigrants, both legal and undocumented do not increase crime in their communities and in some instances their presence may decrease crime in their neighborhoods.

The argument that crime and immigrant studies make no distinction between legal and undocumented and thus their conclusions cannot be accepted has been debunked. Undocumented immigrants also benefit their communities.

Immigrants Make America Great

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...