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June 19, 2008


MYTH: Illegal immigrants are a threat to public safety because they are more likely to commit crimes.
Immigrants have been a perceived threat to public safety since America was founded and the myth has not gone away. From the editorial pages to Town Hall meetings, the myth of immigrant crime is perpetuated more than ever. But, before throwing up your hands in defeat when you hear these erroneous statements, consider responding with a few quick mythbusting facts!

FACT: Immigrants are five times LESS likely than the native-born to be in prison.

• In a 2007 study, University of California, Irvine, sociologist Rubén G. Rumbaut found that, in 2000, the 3.5 percent incarceration rate for native-born men age 18-39 was five times higher than the rate for immigrant men (0.7 percent).

• Moreover, among native-born male high-school dropouts, 9.8 percent were behind bars, compared to only 1.3 percent of immigrant dropouts.

FACT: Undocumented immigration is NOT associated with higher crime rates.

• Although the undocumented immigrant population doubled from 1994 to 2005, the violent crime rate in the United States declined by 34.2 percent and the property crime rate fell by 26.4 percent during the same period. Border cities and other cities with large immigrant populations also experienced decreasing crime rates.

More mythbusting facts on this issue can be found in Immigrants and Crime: Setting the Record Straight, a two page fact sheet from the IPC at http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/images/File/factcheck/ImmigrantsandCrime03-08.pdf

Posted by VisaLawyer at June 19, 2008 07:41 AM


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