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Study Finds Immigrant Teens Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes Than Their U.S.-Born Peers

In June, Donald Trump made headlines for saying Mexico was just sending the U.S. its "criminals and rapists," and since then, he's doubled down on his anti-immigrant rhetoric, but a new study from the University of Texas actually suggests the opposite of what Trump seems to believe. In fact, it found that immigrant teens are less likely than their U.S.-born counterparts to commit crimes or use drugs. 

The study, which was published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, examined data that had been collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2009. The respondents ranged in age from 12 to 17. About half idenfitied as Latino; 20 percent reported themselves as non-Hispanic white; and another 20 percent identified themselves as Asian. They were not asked about their current immigration status, though they were asked if they were born outside the U.S. and if so, how long ago they migrated to the U.S.

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