Just last week, Trump declared during a Florida rally that an “invasion” of immigrants were bringing in an “unbelievable” amount of crime. He has referred to Mexican immigrants as drug dealers and rapists, and asserts that his long-promised border wall would “MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN.”
But a new, first-of-its-kind analysis debunks the president’s argument. According to its findings, published by The New York Times on Monday, growth in illegal immigration in a particular area has not resulted in higher local crime rates.
The study was conducted by The Marshall Project using 2007-2016 data from the FBI and the Pew Research Center. The journalism nonprofit, which focuses on the criminal justice system, compared local crime rates and Pew’s estimates of undocumented populations in metro areas.
The Marshall Project, in a collaboration with the Times, wrote:
A large majority of the areas recorded decreases in both violent and property crime between 2007 and 2016, consistent with a quarter-century decline in crime across the United States. The analysis found that crime went down at similar rates regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell.
The analysis was described as the first to look broadly at the correlation of undocumented immigration and crime since 2007. Other studies have arrived at similar conclusions.
A 2017 peer-reviewed study found that immigration in general had no effect on crime in rural communities from 1990 through 2010. In cities, however, more immigration appeared to be linked to lower crime rates.
A Cato Institute study from last year found that criminal conviction and arrest rates for legal and undocumented immigrants in Texas in 2015 were significantly below those of native-born Americans.