New Study: Immigration Lowers Crime

By Daisy Hernandez May 27, 2010

Immigration peaked during the 1990s in the U.S. while the rates of robberies and murders dropped. Coincidence? We think not and neither does Tim Wadsworth, a University of Colorado professor, who—using Census data and FBI crime reports—found that in 459 large cities nationwide crime rates dipped as more immigrants made home there. The study is published in the Social Science Quarterly’s June edition. Wadsworth told WSJ’s Metropolis blog: “The reality of it is that if you go into most immigrant enclaves — whether they be Italian or Mexican or any other — if there is a lot of homogeneity in terms of ethnic background, these places tend to be some with the lowest crime rates.” But just how much lower? Controlling for other factors, Wadsworth found a 9.3 percent drop in homicide rates and 22.2 percent decline in robbery rates. This research is new but not the idea behind it. In the 1930s, Pres. Hoover put together the Wickersham Commission to look into crime. “What they found was immigrants were actually committing less crime than their native-born counterparts,” Wadsworth says. And in the late 90s sociologist Robert J. Sampson and his team looked at people in Chicago where they found that the newly arrived were 45 percent less likely to commit violence than those who had been here for three generations. For anyone who whines, “But what about Arizona? They got crime…” talk to the FBI. According to their reports, violence on the border is flat and rates of violent crimes are also down throughout the state. Now if only Pres. “Supposedly Prudent” Obama would bother reading those reports before he makes decisions on where to send troops.