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Everything Is Bigger in Texas — Except the Illegal Immigrant Crime Rate

March 12, 2018 in Economics

By Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

Since day one of his campaign for president, Donald Trump has
linked illegal immigration with crime. Vice President Pence
recently did it as well during a visit to the
Texas-Mexico border to tout how “this administration has been
taking decisive steps to enforce our laws; secure our borders;
taking dangerous drug dealers off our — violent criminals off
our street.”

But there is no link between illegal immigration and crime
— even in a border state like Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety preserved the results from
immigration checks when people are arrested and convicted of
crimes, unlike other states. This allowed me to check immigration
statuses against criminal convictions and compare them to the share
of illegal immigrants in Texas’ population. The results are in a
new brief I wrote for the Cato Institute,
showing that illegal or legal immigrants are less likely to be
convicted of crimes than native-born Americans.

Let’s examine the raw numbers: In 2015, natives were convicted
of 409,063 crimes, illegal immigrants were convicted of 13,753
crimes, and legal immigrants were convicted of 7,643 crimes in

Natives were convicted of a disproportionate 95 percent of all
crimes, although they only made up 83 percent of Texas’ population.
Illegal immigrants, making up just six percent of the population,
were convicted of only three percent of the crimes. And legal
immigrants were even less crime prone, making up 11 percent of the
population but receiving only two percent of criminal

Even in a Republican-governed border state like Texas with law
enforcement officials very concerned about illegal immigration
— and with a reputation for enforcing criminal laws to the
hilt — illegal immigrants appear less crime-prone than

This holds true even for particularly violent crimes. Many
Americans are concerned about murders committed by illegal
immigrants, notably the killing of Kate Steinle in San Francisco in
2015. Steinle’s killing was a tragedy but, as the Texas crime data
shows, it is a remarkably rare one, at least in the Lone Star
state. There were 951 total homicide convictions in Texas in 2015.
Of those, native-born Americans were convicted of 885 homicides,
whereas illegal and legal immigrants face 51 and 15 such
convictions, respectively.

In other words, there were 2.9 murder convictions of illegal
immigrants in Texas for every 100,000 of them living there that
year. That’s compared to 3.9 convictions of native-born Americans
for every 100,000 natives. Once again, legal immigrants were the
most peaceful as there were only 0.51 homicide convictions for
every 100,000 legal immigrants.

Thus, homicide conviction rates for illegal and legal immigrants
were 25 percent and 87 percent below those of natives,
respectively. Per capita, there …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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