Judicial Watch • Public Study: Illegal Immigrants Commit Less Crime Than Americans

Public Study: Illegal Immigrants Commit Less Crime Than Americans

Public Study: Illegal Immigrants Commit Less Crime Than Americans

JUNE 12, 2012

Illegal immigrants are erroneously perceived to commit more crime based on the mistaken theory their population size is much larger than it really is, according to the findings of a respected public university in a southern border state.

If this isn’t the most ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars, what is? A professor at a taxpayer-funded university in Arizona has actually published a study intended to answer a baffling question; why do so many Americans believe “undocumented immigrants” commit more crime? “The public consistently perceives immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, as criminal,” says the Arizona State University professor (Xia Wang) of criminology who set the record straight.

That’s, due in part, to the perceived population size of the immigrant community overall. “If somebody is perceiving undocumented immigrants as a larger proportion in the population, they are going to perceive undocumented immigrants at a higher level of criminal threat,” according to Professor Wang. She assures that “people have very distorted and exaggerated views of the population size of undocumented immigrants.”

U.S. government figures put it at around 12 million, give or take. The new study found that “the wright of evidence suggests that immigration is not related to more crime.” It’s all about a mistaken perception, according to researchers. “The public consistently perceives immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, as criminal,” Professor Wang says. Could it be because they have violated U.S. law by entering and living in the country illegally? Not surprisingly, that crucial fact is never considered by this group of academics.

To understand why this perception exists, Wang applied what’s known as a “minority threat perspective,” a theory that seeks to explain why “minorities are treated differently by law enforcement.” For this particular study, data was used from a poll of more than 1,000 people in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas. A large proportion of respondents estimated the undocumented population to be more than half of the overall foreign born population, far greater than “recognized statistics.”

Level of education and “victimization experience” played a huge role in shaping the views of those surveyed, according to researchers. Also, U.S.-born citizens’ unemployment rate and the economic condition of their community played a role in believing “unauthorized immigrants” were more involved in crime. Researchers encourage criminologists to conclude that “minority threat perspective” could be applied to “undocumented immigrants” when compiling official reports and statistics.

As for the rest of the nation’s population, the Arizona study concludes unequivocally, that illegal immigrants “actually commit less crime than the native born.” Those who disagree aren’t being reasonable or rational, according to this brilliant piece of work. It’s all just a big mistake.

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  • llama

    There are around 3 million between Cali and Arizona. Cali has the highest number, followed by Texas 1.5m, Florida 1m, and New York 700k. Hilarious that you think 25% of Cali and Arizona’s population is undocumented immigrants. Do you just assume that every Mexican or Latino is without papers?

  • Cordstreet

    Immigrants, yes. Illegally crossing borders to get here, lmao, not so much.

  • Cordstreet

    There’s 12M Illegals in AZ/CA alone. lmao. What a joke of an article. Note to self: Ignore Judicial Watch.

  • shilohsboots

    Oh, puleeze! We were not founded by ILLEGALS. There was a reason for Ellis Island….to keep us safe from diseases and criminals! They had to have some money, and be productive. People who break the law are doing something ILLEGAL. To sneak in is breaking the law! There is a difference between the legal and the illegal alien! I hope you’re happy NOW, a year later, with this administration letting them in, against our laws! We cannot support them! We are struggling with our own, with not enough jobs and our economy collapsing because of the ignorance of people like you, who aren’t realistic. Each one of them is given an EBT card…while help to our own with real need is cut! And this is why…..to make room for them. Why don’t YOU take a handful of them and support them in your house? Can’t afford it? NEITHER CAN OUR COUNTRY! Who said anything was wrong with them having a better life??? Don’t change the subject of their illegality, to pathos. If they want a better life, they should fix their own country! But EBT cards, free housing, free medical, at OUR expense beats struggling and working to do that, doesn’t it! So spare me the words from another time, with the restrictions of those days, when we have a whole new set of problems and GIVE them a living!

  • shilohsboots

    Well, now we have Obama letting illegals SWARM in, and cases of tuberculosis and even polio have appeared with them! And it was secretly been set up/prepared for by his administration for months, maybe years! MS13 members have been identified among them. The “children” are teens and adults, but liberals a screaming about caring for the “children”. Not only were you wrong, using government supplied statistics when you first wrote this article, now you need to toss the whole thing for a rewrite!

  • LetFreedomRing

    @ek8xk- are you talking about illegals or honest people trying to get here legally?
    Here’s some thing that refutes this biased study, from a GAO report:

    Of 55,322 arrested/detained/deported ILLEGAL immigrants, there were 459,614 prior arrests among them which equates to about 8 arrests per person. Nearly ALL had more than 1 prior arrest. In fact, 38% had 2-5, 32% had 6-10, and 26% had 11 or more. As you can see, more than half had 2-10 offenses each. These arrests were for about 700,000 offenses, meaning there were about 13 charges or offenses per ILLEGAL person.
    Also, 83% ofwarrents for MURDER in Phoenix,AZ (my home state) are for ILLEGAL immigrants, while 86% and 89% in N.M. and California are for MURDER committed by ILLEGALS.
    75% of Most Wanted in L.A., Phx., and Albuquerque are ILLEGALS.

    25% of inmates in California are Mexican Nationals, 40% and 49% in AZ and N.M.
    53% of burglaries in CA, N.M., Nevada, Arizona and Texas are committed by ILLEGALS.
    50% of gang members in L.A. are ILLEGALS
    71% of stolen cars recovered in Texas, N.M., AZ, Nevada, and California were stolen by ILLEGALS

    There’s tons more, and even a newer report that shows its a little worse, even tho we are told by this Administration that border jumping is down a little.
    So Wang I would say there is a legitimate reason for this minority threat perspective.

  • ek8xk

    It heart breaking to read these comments because America was founded by immigrants in order to start a new life. The Statue of Liberty is the symbol of that.
    “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
    The American dream seemed so attainable in those times, but as we started creating laws that restrict these kinds of people, they are thought of as criminals. How can one be called a criminal when he/she is trying to create new beginnings and a better life? Attaining a visa is impossible if a person is not economically stable in his/her country, and that country might be because the country in turmoil. Why is it wrong for them to want a better life? Yes it is true that the economy is suffering, but this is just because we need to fix our regulations.

  • kjs420

    Apparently Wang doesn’t read. Or, has seen the inside of a county jail. They’ll let anybody teach in colleges now a days.

  • Teryn Cannon Tant

    So she applied theory ““minority threat perspective,” The crimes for which they haven’t been arrested are not counted. Driving without a license, no auto insurance, not paying taxes, cheating on taxes, identity theft, illegal use of social security number, etc puts almost every one of these illegals into the criminal category. This is reality not theory!

  • boblusby

    “Illegal” immigrants? The very definition, which, incidentally, should be accurately defined as illegal criminals, categorizes them as law breakers. What would be the results of this farce of a survey if the numbers were broken down by race? Honkies? “Brothers”? Latinos?

  • jbartlebee

    Every illegal alien who is employed in the United States has committed one or more of the following crimes: ID Theft, Document Fraud, Social Security Fraud, Employment (I-9 Form) Fraud, Federal Income Tax Evasion, and Conspiracy to Violate Immigration Laws.

  • kylefclark

    So tell us, did this challenged professor Wang, come here as an illegal alien?

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