President Donald Trump has been laser focused on immigration ever since he announced he was going to run for president in 2015. Since he’s been in office, he’s enacted policies that made it harder for foreigners to immigrate to the United States. He has also often used language that helped sow distrust among his base of supporters toward immigrants, especially those from Mexico.
Despite the negative connotations about immigrants that have come out of recent policies and rhetoric, research is telling a different story. A new study from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, using data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, shows that U.S.-born citizens are more likely to commit crimes than immigrants living in the country without legal permission.
“What we found was pretty sizable gaps between these groups, where undocumented immigrants tended to have the lowest felony arrest rates compared to all these other groups across a host of different offenses,” said University of Wisconsin–Madison sociology professor Michael Light in an interview with Texas Standard.
In the study, the felony offenses included violent crimes such as homicide and assault, as well as property and drug crimes. The study showed that native-born U.S. citizens are twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes, two-and-a-half times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes and more than four times as likely to be arrested for property crimes. The results were also similar when researchers took into account misdemeanors.
“These are fairly sizable gaps comparing native-born U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants in the state of Texas,” Light said.
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How researchers collected their crime data and where it came from
– Whether deportations have had an effect on crime rates
– How this data could influence future discussions about immigration and immigration policy