Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Immigration and crime

Rubén Rumbaut and Walter Ewing have published a thought provoking study on immigrant assimilation in the U.S. Conventional wisdom suggests that recent immigrants are likely to commit crimes. They are young, predominantly male, poor, and not well educated, so we assume they are more dangerous.

Empirically, however, this is not true. As they demonstrate, crime rates have decreased even as immigration has increased (and the patterns hold over the last three censuses). In addition, the foreign born population is much less likely to commit crimes than the native born. In fact, the least likely groups from Latin America to commit crimes are foreign-born Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans, who are precisely the people cited in the media as being more of a problem. They are the least educated, yet also the most law abiding.

One sad conclusion is that assimilation into U.S. culture entails becoming more violent, more likely to take drugs, drink, etc. In other words, we should all start acting a little bit more like recent immigrants…


Anonymous,  1:24 PM  

Do you know where I can get a copy of the research? This is Daniel Valdez from your spring 07 LTAM 3164. THANKS!!

Greg Weeks 10:29 PM  

Daniel--just click on the link. If you have any problems, let me know.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP