Far from increasing incidents of crime, immigration is actually linked to reductions in some types of crimes in the US, says a study that found no support for the commonly held notion that more immigrants lead to more crime.
“Our research shows strong and stable evidence that, on average, across US metropolitan areas crime and immigration are not linked,” said study lead author Robert Adelman, Associate Professor of Sociology at University at Buffalo in New York.
“The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and, in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher,” he added.
“The results are very clear,” Adelman said of the study published in the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice.
The findings dismissing the claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime.
“Facts are critical in the current political environment,” said Adelman.
“The empirical evidence in this study and other related research shows little support for the notion that more immigrants lead to more crime,” he added.
For the study, the authors explored whether larger scale immigration patterns in communities could be tied to increases in crime due to changes in cities, such as fewer economic opportunities or the claim that immigrants displace domestic workers from jobs.
The authors drew a sample of 200 metropolitan areas as defined by the US Census Bureau and used census data and uniform crime reporting data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a 40-year period from 1970 to 2010.
“Communities experiencing demographic change driven by immigration patterns do not experience significant increases in any of the kinds of crime we examined. And in many cases, crime was either stable or actually declined in communities that incorporated many immigrants,” Adelman said.