Anna Flagg, in Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?, reports on the latest study finding no such link:
A lot of research has shown that there’s no causal connection between immigration and crime in the United States. But after one such study was reported on jointly by The Marshall Project and The Upshot last year, readers had one major complaint: Many argued it was unauthorized immigrants who increase crime, not immigrants over all.
An analysis derived from new data is now able to help address this question, suggesting that growth in illegal immigration does not lead to higher local crime rates.
In part because it’s hard to collect data on them, undocumented immigrants have been the subjects of few studies, including those related to crime. But Pew Research Center recently released estimates of undocumented populations sorted by metro area, which The Marshall Project has compared with local crime rates published by the FBI. For the first time, there is an opportunity for a broader analysis of how unauthorized immigration might have affected crime rates since 2007.
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. Areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime rates, although the difference was small and uncertain.
(Emphasis added. The latest study shows a decrease in crime in areas with undocumented immigrants.)
Flagg notes that this new study confirms earlier findings that undocumented immigrants don’t lead to an increase in crime:
The results of the analysis resemble those of other studies on the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime. Last year, a report by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, found that unauthorized immigrants in Texas committed fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts. A state-level analysis in Criminology, an academic journal, found that undocumented immigration did not increase violent crime and was in fact associated with slight decreases in it. Another Cato study found that unauthorized immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated.