Who Commits More Crimes In US, American-Born Or Immigrants?

Photo: StatueofLiberty.org. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
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The murder of Laken Riley was raised in the Republican response to Thursday night’s State of the Union address. Riley was a 22-year-old nursing student jpgger who was killed last month at the University of Georgia after she was abducted while on a run. The suspect in her murder is a Venezuelan migrant, Jose Ibarra, whom officials say was illegally in the U.S. Ibarra’s brother has also been arrested.

During the Republican rebuttal, Riley’s murder was brought up by Alabama Sen. Katie Britt. “She was brutally murdered by one of the millions of illegal border crossers President Biden chose to release into our homeland. Y’all … as a mom, I can’t quit thinking about this. I mean, this could have been my daughter. This could have been yours.”

On March 7, 2024, the House of Representatives passed a new immigration bill named the Laken Riley Act, requiring federal-not local- detention of migrants who commit burglary or theft.

Britt’s  response, which criticized current immigration policies, also described how she had met a woman at the U.S.-Mexico border who told of being raped thousands of times in a sex trafficking operation run by cartels, starting at age 12.

Independent journalist Jonathan Katz revealed in a TikTok video Friday that the sex trafficking of the victim mentioned by Britt on Thursday did not happen during the Biden administration or in the United States.

The victim,  Karla Jacinto Romero, a survivor of human trafficking has previously spoken publicly about the abuse happening in her home country of Mexico from 2004 to 2008 — outside of the United States and during the George W. Bush administration.

In 2023 she told senators who were visiting Mexico that she was 12 when her mother threw her out on the streets, and a pimp trafficked her to more than 40,000 clients over four years. Romero said many of the clients were foreigners (mostly from the US) who had traveled to Mexico for sexual interactions with minors like her.

The claim that immigration brings on a crime wave in the US  can be traced back to the first immigrants who arrived in the U.S. This misleading narrative has a resurgence seen a resurgence since the 1980s and 1990s.

During the current presidential campaign, the vitriol has been intense.

Just in the last few months, former President Donald Trump has spoken of immigrants as criminals and mentally ill people who are “poisoning the blood of our country.”

Florida Gov. (and former presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis said migrants suspected of carrying drugs across the border should be shot, without specifying how drug smugglers could be told apart from other migrants.

However, research indicates that statistically immigrants commit fewer crimes than U.S.-born people.

Much of the available data focuses on incarceration rates because that’s where immigration status is recorded.

Some of the most extensive research comes from Stanford University. Economist Ran Abramitzky found that since the 1960s, immigrants are 60% less likely to be incarcerated than U.S.-born people.

Beyond incarceration rates, research also shows that there is no correlation between undocumented people and a rise in crime.

Recent investigations by The New York Times and The Marshall Project found that between 2007 and 2016, there was no link between undocumented immigrants and a rise in violent or property crime in those communities.

The study also suggests that there’s a real fear of getting in trouble and being deported within immigrant communities. Far from engaging in criminal activities, immigrants mostly don’t want to rock the boat.

But the idea that immigrants bring crime remains widespread.

Sources. NPR, news agencies.
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