Do undocumented immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans?

Thursday, July 21, 2022
By Austin Tannenbaum

Recent research suggests that undocumented immigrants have a lower crime rate than native-born American citizens.

Analyzing Texas arrest data between 2012 and 2018, researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison found that undocumented immigrants were "roughly half as likely to be arrested for homicide, felonious assault, and sexual assault" compared to native-born citizens. Undocumented immigrants were also significantly less likely to be arrested for drug and property crimes.

In a similar study, Cato Institute found that in 2018, the criminal conviction rate for undocumented immigrants was 45% below that of native-born Americans in Texas.

Consistent with these findings, a 2018 study published in the journal Criminology, which analyzed criminal, socioeconomic, and demographic data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2014, concluded that "undocumented immigration does not increase violence," instead observing a negative correlation between undocumented immigration and violent crime.

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