The mythical tie between immigration and crime
Research by Stanford’s Ran Abramitzky and co-authors uncovers the most extensive evidence to date that immigrants are less likely to be imprisoned than U.S.-born individuals.
Opponents of immigration often argue that immigrants drive up crime rates. But newly released research from Stanford economist Ran Abramitzky and his co-authors finds that hasn’t been the case in America for the last 140 years.
The study reveals that first-generation immigrants have not been more likely to be imprisoned than people born in the United States since 1880.
Today, immigrants are 30 percent less likely to be incarcerated than are U.S.-born individuals who are white, the study finds. And when the analysis is expanded to include Black Americans — whose prison rates are higher than the general population — the likelihood of an immigrant being incarcerated is 60 percent lower than of people born in the United States.
Crawford, K. (2023, July). The mythical tie between immigration and crime. Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. https://siepr.stanford.edu/news/mythical-tie-between-immigration-and-crime