CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Nowrasteh on Illegal Immigrants and Crime

Alex Nowrasteh (Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity) has posted Criminal Immigrants in Texas: Illegal Immigrant Conviction and Arrest Rates for Homicide, Sex Crimes, Larceny, and Other Crimes (Cato Institute, Research and Policy Brief, No. 4, 2018) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Immigration Research and Policy Brief was updated in August 2018 after the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed that their first release of convictions data was incorrect because of a coding error. As a result, Nowrasteh updated this brief’s findings to reflect the accurate data released by DPS after they admitted their original error.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport most illegal immigrants who encounter law enforcement, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is attempting to withhold federal funds from local police departments that do not cooperate with DHS in that effort.1 Underlying both actions is the belief that illegal immigrants are a significant source of crime.2 This brief uses Texas Department of Public Safety data to measure the conviction and arrest rates of illegal immigrants by crime. In Texas in 2015, the criminal conviction and arrest rates for immigrants were well below those of native-born Americans. Moreover, the conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those for native-born Americans. This result holds for most crimes.

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