More Misinformation from the Media:
President Trump, eager to find a rationale to cleanse the country of undocumented immigrants, continues to link such immigrants to rising crime rates and gang violence. . . . But there is no evidence to back up that claim. In fact, study after study, has found that immigrants actually commit fewer crimes than the population at large. That makes sense. Immigrants, whether legal or illegal, sacrifice much to come here. . . . In fact the libertarian Cato Institute noted in a recent report that “no matter how researchers slice the data . . . the numbers show that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans.” – Immigration, Crime and More Falsehoods from Trump, Editorial Board, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 2/24/17 [Link Here]
Fact Check: Actually, the president doesn’t have to search for any rationale to send illegal (not undocumented) immigrants home. It’s the law, so the president already has a rationale—not to mention the duty—to enforce it.
Do studies show that “immigrants” commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans? Some studies do, but as Ronald Mortensen at the Center for Immigration Studies notes, “[They fail] to distinguish between crimes committed by legal immigrants and those committed by illegal aliens.”
Legal immigrants tend to have lower crime rates than citizens for the simple reason that our immigration laws and procedures are designed to screen out criminals. This is indeed why we have immigration laws. Lumping the much more numerous legals together with illegals gives a distorted picture of the illegal alien crime rate.
To state what should be the obvious, illegal immigrants exceed citizens in lawbreaking because all of them by definition are lawbreakers. It seems that the media commonly ignore this point because they really don’t think that immigration laws are sufficiently significant to be called laws. But, as we have seen, they serve the useful purpose of screening out criminals. And they also serve to protect American workers and taxpayers.
A further point to keep in mind is that to stay and work in the U.S. illegal immigrants have to break multiple laws, some of which are felonies. Among them are document fraud, tax evasion, Social Security fraud and perjury.
But what about serious crimes by illegal aliens unrelated to their immigration status? Without conflating legal immigrant crime rates, many commentators still insist that illegal aliens commit such crimes at a lower rate than natives. The problem with this claim is that no one keeps an overall comprehensive record of illegal alien crime—and some researchers charge that this is by design.
Criminologist Ron Martinelli notes that “It is in fact difficult, but not impossible to locate accurate crime statistics involving illegal immigrants. The statistics are buried both to suit a political agenda and to avoid public outcry.” Nevertheless, he maintains, it is possible to assemble data from various sources to create a more or less complete picture, and it reveals a higher crime rate by illegal aliens.
In an article in The Hill, Martinelli puts these pieces together. One of them is the statistic from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Sentencing Commission that “as of 2014, illegal immigrants were convicted and sentenced for over 13 percent of all crimes committed in the U.S.” With illegal aliens being 3.5 percent of the population, a crime level this high is grossly disproportionate to their numbers.
Is it really unwarranted to suspect that illegal aliens as a group are prone to crime in general? People who habitually break some laws probably don’t have strong scruples about breaking others.