Immigration Sampson, head of the sociology department at

Immigration is center of the
founding myth of the United States as the “Land of Opportunity”. Yet, throughout the nation’s history, tension
between immigrants and “natives”—who are almost always descendants of
immigrants themselves—has existed. One especially obstinate statement is that
immigration is associated with an increase in crime. With being a criminology
major, when this topic came up in this class, I couldn’t help but become more
interested. This topic at the same time went hand in hand with my criminology class,
especially with the article “How Criminals Actually Reduce Crime” by
Christopher Dickey of the Newsweek Magazine along with a few other articles. (http://www.newsweek.com/how-immigrants-actually-reduce-crime-72555)

 

Previous studies that
attempted to find a link between immigration and crime relied on U.S. Census
self-reports from incarcerated individuals in the 1980s. If immigrant criminals
are overrepresented in the U.S. prison population, the thinking was, there must
be a correlation between immigration and criminal behavior but, that is not the
case. There are pretty convincing data to support the argument that immigrants
as such—even possibly “illegal” immigrants—do not make cities more dangerous to
live in. Robert J. Sampson, head of the sociology department at Harvard,
examined crime and immigration in
Chicago and around the United States to find the truth behind the popular
perception that increasing immigration leads to crime. Sampson states,
“…immigrants move into
neighborhoods abandoned by locals and help prevent them from turning into urban
wastelands” (Dickey). Some believe that if you want to have a safer community,
move to an immigrant city. This is due to the tighter family structure that immigrants
have. Immigrants don’t want to commit crimes. They come to the United States to
pursue a better life. They work hard and do what they can to provide for their
families, just how any human would. Also, in regard to illegal immigrants, they
avoid crime. An illegal immigrant has the potential of being deported if they commit
crime, therefor it’s in everyone’s best interest to not.

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Furthermore,
immigrants may have contributed to the historic drop in crime rates. Research
shows that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than a US born citizen. President
Donald Trump published an executive order stating that he would publish a
weekly list of “criminal actions committed by aliens”. According to Rachael Revesz
of Independent.co; stated, “Undocumented
immigrants in the US have risen from 3.5 million in 1990 to 11.1 million in
2014” (Ravesz). Data found that there were 730 violent crimes per 100,000
citizens 27 years ago, compared to 362 crimes per 100,000 citizens in 2014. President
Trump has often pointed to a moderately small spike in crime over the past two
years, despite crime having descended lower over the past several decades, to
justify his anti-immigrant stance.

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