Thursday, July 26, 2007

Illegal Immigrants Are Not Criminals

In fact they go to jail at an amazing one fifth the rate of native born.

I had wondered about the very frequent conservative remarks that illegals were driving up the crime rate. Another example of why you shouldn't get your "facts" from talk radio. Illegal immigrants are seldom arrested in this country because they aren't doing the crimes. Dr. Kristin F. Butcher, Dr. Anne Morrison Piehl:
Our evidence suggests that deportation does not drive the results. Rather, the process of migration selects individuals who either have lower criminal propensities or are more responsive to deterrent effects than the average native. Immigrants who were already in the country reduced their relative institutionalization probability over the decades; and the newly arrived immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s seem to be particularly unlikely to be involved in criminal activity, consistent with increasingly positive selection along this dimension.
More on this Power Point Presentation (with statistical reports). The low rate of incarceration applies to legal immigrants as well. Perhaps we should promote immigration to reduce the crime rate in the United States?

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