Immigrants’ Deportations, Local Crime, and Police Effectiveness

Annie Laurie Hines and Giovanni Peri
Date of Publication: 
January, 2020
Source Organization: 
Cato Institute

Despite popular belief, academic studies find little correlation between immigration and crime rates in the United States. Most find that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes and less likely to be incarcerated than similar native-born Americans, and even undocumented immigrants have lower conviction and arrest rates. There is evidence that immigration decreases local crime rates but no evidence that the presence of undocumented immigrants is associated with more crime. More recent research examines the impact of increased enforcement on local crime. For example, studies find that the E-Verify program, which allows employers to check the work-eligibility status of their employees, reduced the population of young males in Arizona and thus reduced the occurrence of property crime by changing Arizona's demographic composition. Overall, the literature finds a negative or null association between immigrants and crime.

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Hines, A. L., & Peri, G. (2020, January 8). Immigrants’ deportations, local crime, and police effectiveness. Retrieved from