Despite the widely held perception growth in illegal immigration leads to higher local crime rates, an analysis derived from newly available data shows it does not, The New York Times reported Monday.
Previous research had indicated there is no connection between crime in the U.S. and immigrants in general, but a specific study on undocumented immigrants was harder to conduct, because of the uncertainty of data on the numbers of illegals and where they are.
However, the Pew Research Center recently released estimates of undocumented populations sorted by metropolitan area, which The Marshall Project has compared with local crime rates put out by the FBI.
The combination of this data provided the most in-depth analysis of how illegal immigration might have affected crime rates over the past decade.
The analysis found changes in undocumented populations had little or no effect on crime in the various metropolitan areas in the survey.
The results of the analysis are similar to previous studies on the subject, such as a report by the Cato Institute last year that unauthorized immigrants in Texas committed fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts.
More research is being conducted about the potential effects of undocumented immigration on crime, according to the Times, and preliminary findings indicate other socioeconomic factors such as unemployment rates, housing instability, and degrees of economic hardship all predict higher rates of crime, while the number of undocumented immigrants do not.
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