Crime Became a Negative Result of Immigration Because

Suggested Citation:“9 Immigration and Crime in the United states of america.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: x.17226/5985.

×

9

Immigration and Offense in the United States

John Hagan and Alberto Palloni

INTRODUCTION

At that place is increasing concern nearly the presence of immigrants in the criminal justice organisation of the United States, specially virtually the number of legal and illegal immigrants in prisons. In this affiliate nosotros include estimates that from four to seven percent of the more than than 1.five 1000000 persons held in American jails and prisons are noncitizens. At an boilerplate annual cost of more than $30,000 per inmate, the financial source of public and policy business is obvious. This business concern is increasing equally state and federal governments get better informed about the immigrant status of offenders in their custody. The public and its politicians understandably are eager to find ways to reduce or shift this expense, while responding besides to concerns nigh public safety. One response involves efforts by states to shift expenses to the federal government by demanding compensation for the expense of incarcerating immigrants; another response is to press for the deportation of immigrants who are convicted of crimes; and a third response is to anteroom for limitations on immigration and for stricter control of illegal immigration (see Cornelius et al., 1994). Our purpose in this chapter is not to appraise straight the wisdom of these various policies, simply instead to provide data and perspective on the relationship between immigration and offense. This information is relevant just not determinative with regard to selecting among the various policy options that ascend from linkages between immigration and crime.

The U.s. has experienced at least 4 major waves of immigration over the past ii centuries. Concerns about crime have been salient in conjunction with the 2 most recent waves, which occurred at the plough of this century and again

Suggested Citation:“ix Immigration and Law-breaking in the United states.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Financial Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

toward this century’s end. We focus on issues of immigration and crime during these third and fourth waves. These periods are sufficiently unlike and far apart in fourth dimension that information technology is necessary to relearn and rethink much of what was one time taken for granted nigh this topic. This job is made more hard by the fact that, in betwixt the last 2 periods of business almost immigration and crime, many criminal justice agencies stopped recording information about the presumed immigration and citizenship status of offenders. It is therefore necessary to piece together information nearly our topic from a patchwork of sources. Equally nosotros annotation, the depth and particular of the data sources we must depict from are uneven and uncertain. The results of our work propose that some of the public concern nearly clearing and crime may exist overdrawn; nonetheless, the nature of the data bug too limits the certainty with which conclusions can be fatigued in this field.

Undoubtedly the about salient questions involve the upshot of whether immigration increases crime. Of grade, in an absolute sense, information technology probably does. Immigration brings more people into the country, and unless this process is balanced past emigration, the accented volume of law-breaking will very likely increment. In improver, immigrants are often disproportionately male and at early ages of labor market entry and advancement. Considering immature males are disproportionately likely to be involved in law-breaking in all parts of the world that we know virtually (Hirschi and Gottfredson, 1983), this may too contribute to increases in crime. If our concern is solely to reduce law-breaking, it just does not make sense to encourage immature males to immigrate in big numbers. However, because we also value the labor of young male immigrants, and indeed frequently rely on this labor in the context of shortages of particular kinds of workers, questions nigh contributions of immigration to crime are more likely to exist relative than absolute. In this sense we volition probably want to know whether immigrants who enter the country contribute to crime beyond what we could otherwise wait of citizens of like numbers, ages, gender, so on.

A farther complication in assessing the involvement of immigrants in criminal offense is that immigrants may not be treated the same equally citizens in the criminal justice system. If immigrants are more or less vulnerable than citizens to arrest, detention, conviction, and imprisonment, their representation in official crime statistics may be correspondingly biased. This problem also must be addressed in assessing the human relationship between clearing and crime. These difficulties help to explain why questions near immigration and offense have recurred over the past century in the United states. We showtime review the historical groundwork of these concerns then plow to contemporary developments in reaching tentative conclusions about immigration and crime.

Immigration AND CRIME IN AN Before ERA

The shut of the Past century brought concerns about immigration and crime that persisted for several decades. These concerns were associated with a third

Suggested Citation:“ix Immigration and Crime in the United States.” National Research Quango. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Financial Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Printing. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

wave of clearing depicted in Figure 9-1; the persistence of these concerns ultimately helped to justify a closing off of this wave of immigration. A pecker passed by Congress in 1891 barred immigrant carriers of contagious diseases and “immoral” people. Later, public perceptions of immigrant alcohol employ and public drunkenness in clan with fears of law-breaking facilitated the passage of Prohibition. Congressional acts in 1921 and 1924 substantially reduced the numbers of immigrants admitted to the U.s.a.. Special attending was directed toward southern and eastern Europeans during this time, although statistical analyses usually compared native-built-in whites with the strange born more than by and large.

Aside from highly questionable writings associated with the eugenics movement, the research of this earlier era provided little show of a causal clan between immigration and crime. Homicide rates from this menstruum in New York Metropolis, presented in Figure 9-i, reveal no systematic relationship, and McCord’due south (1995) assessment of the research literature from this period indicates that immigrants were not, as was oft alleged, peculiarly prone to drunkenness or offense (Abbott, 1915; Powell, 1966; Taft, 1936; van Vechten, 1941; compare

FIGURE 9-ane Number and ratio of immigrants to population in the United States, 1820–1993 and New York City homicide rates, 1800–1993. Source: Isbister (1996:34) and Butterfield (1994).

Suggested Citation:“nine Immigration and Criminal offence in the United states of america.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Clearing Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

with O’Kane, 1992). Although McCord noted that immigrants accounted for a asymmetric corporeality of offense in Boston in 1914, in Chicago native-built-in residents were more likely to be criminal (Gault, 1932). Meanwhile, increasing immigration did not bring higher crime rates to Philadelphia (Hobbs, 1943), and homicide rates in this city were lower amidst about all foreign-born groups than among the native born (Lane, 1979).

Where causality was seen to operate, its direction often was in the contrary management expected. A study past the United states Clearing Commission institute higher crime rates amidst the children of native-born parents and amid children of immigrants than amongst immigrants themselves (Park et al., 1925/1967). Such findings provided early support for the view that it was the acculturation of immigrants into American life that most notably increased their likelihood of involvement in offense.

In the first part of this century prominent criminologists, such as Edwin Sutherland and Thorsten Sellin, wrote extensively about immigration and crime (see Hawkins, 1995). Sutherland and Sellin were critical of both the data and commentary of this early period, especially when it purported to evidence college rates of offense amid foreign-built-in immigrants than amongst the native-born (encounter United States Immigration Commission, 1911; National Commission on Constabulary Observance and Enforcement, 1931). In several early editions of the well-nigh influential textbook on criminal offense of this century, Sutherland (1924, 1934) advanced the view that acculturation rather than immigration was associated with law-breaking. He reported evidence that second-generation immigrants had higher rates of offense than first-generation immigrants, and that immigrants to America had higher rates of serious criminal offense than their counterparts in their native countries (citing Taft, 1933). Sutherland (1934) and Sellin (1938) both noted that immigrants who came to America equally children were imprisoned at a higher rate than immigrants who came as adults.

Sutherland and Sellin further argued that official law-breaking statistics were dubious resources for reaching conclusions well-nigh immigration and crime. Sutherland (1924) observed that comparisons of crime among the foreign and native built-in were not meaningful unless differences in ages, rural-urban, and sex distributions were taken into account. Sellin (1938) added that the official data sources were often crude and mistaken in their attributions of national origins to assumed offenders. Researchers were increasingly concerned about ethnic and racial biases that resulted from the discretion involved in policing and prosecution of crime (see Chocolate-brown and Warner, 1995).

Still, Sutherland and others reserved room in their thinking for the possibility that in some circumstances some national groups might bring increased risks for particular kinds of crime. Similarly, they noted that no single nationality grouping displayed the same level of involvement across
all
types of criminal offense. Sutherland and Cressey (1978:149) reasoned every bit late as the 1978 edition of their text that

Suggested Commendation:“ix Clearing and Criminal offense in the United States.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Fence: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

certain crimes or groups of crimes are characteristic of sure national groups. These same types of crime are, usually, characteristic of the home countries besides. The Italian and Turkish immigrants residing in Frg in 1965 had high rates of conviction for murder and assault: Italia and Turkey also have high murder and assault rates. Italians in America have a low rate of arrest for drunkenness, and drunkenness is comparatively rare in Italy. The traditions of the home country are transplanted to the host state and decide the relative positions of the immigrant groups to the types of criminal offence.

In credible contrast with this view, Shaw and McKay (1942:152–154) argued that, although immigrants came to North America with differing national propensities to crime, the disorganizing forces of poverty in the centers of American cities where immigrants most often settled tended to produce a convergence in their involvements in criminal offence. So that where, ”… the older immigrant nationalities besides equally the recent arrivals range in their rates of malversation from the very highest to the lowest,” nonetheless, “within the same type of social area, the foreign-born and the natives, recent immigrant nationalities, and older immigrants produce very similar rates of delinquency.” These contrasting views emerging out of the early twentieth century American experience with immigration and crime are not necessarily contradictory, a point we return to later.

Meanwhile, during the centre third of this century business concern about immigration and crime declined and nearly disappeared. A reflection of this is that the lengthy discussion of clearing and crime that had been an important office of the before versions of Sutherland’due south archetype text was eliminated completely between the 10th and eleventh editions. Official statistics on crime no longer regularly included reports of the foreign nationalities of offenders. With the exception of occasional panics about Italian-American involvement in organized crime (Cressey, 1969) and scholarly speculation most the successive involvement of the Irish gaelic, Jews, and Italians in organized crime (Ianni, 1972; see also O’Kane, 1992), fears about clearing and crime gradually faded into the groundwork of public and criminological concerns. Earlier waves of European immigrants assimilated into American guild and became citizens, while immigration and offense both declined through the 1950s, and public fears subsided.

Clearing AND Criminal offense IN A NEW ERA

As a fourth wave of clearing emerged in the terminal third of this century, before concerns took on renewed life. As indicated in Figure 9-1, the increase in clearing during this latter flow was more notable in accented book than in relation to population. Nonetheless, the renewed fear was that “under current immigration laws and procedures, frighteningly large numbers of newcomers see crime every bit their artery to the American dream” (Tanton and Lutton, 1993:217). The new circumstances were, yet, somewhat different than those at the beginning of the century. Whereas concerns linking immigration to law-breaking in the

Suggested Commendation:“9 Immigration and Criminal offense in the United States.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Financial Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: x.17226/5985.

×

get-go half of this century coincided with historically low crime rates, from the afterward 1960s until relatively recently, fierce criminal offense increased in the United States. So that while between 1960 and 1990 the annual migration rate per 1,000 population in the Us increased from 1.vii to 3.0, during this same period the U.S. homicide rate increased from 4.8 to eight.3 per 100,000 population. This recent increase in homicide, and even more recent decline, is further reflected in the homicide rates for New York Metropolis displayed in the bottom console in Figure ix-1.

With the data available to us we were able to trace time trends in the rate of arrests, rates of incarceration, and rates of immigration. Estimated rates of immigration were obtained past adding together figures for legal immigrants and estimated illegal immigrants. The latter were determined past distributing over time estimated numbers of individuals who entered the state between 1975 and 1990.

Our preliminary analyses indicated that trends in arrest rates and immigration rates were only weakly if at all related; however, there was a small association between the latter and trends in the arrest rates. This association is attributable mostly to a abrupt upturn in both trends that occurred peculiarly after 1985. So increases in violent and other forms of law-breaking may exist mixed in the perceptions of the American public with the renewed growth in immigration.

As was the case at the plough of the century, concerns at this century’s finish are prominently focused around the presence of inmates in American prisons who are not citizens. Indeed, the about comprehensive national statistics nosotros at present accept on immigration and criminal offence come from prison and correctional department data. Most police and court agencies do not systematically collect data on the citizenship and national origins of persons arrested and prosecuted, probably because it is now meliorate recognized that the attributions involved would frequently be mistaken. Unfortunately, the pictures provided by prison house statistics may also be distorted, not only past mistaken attributions of citizenship and national origin, but also because just a small proportion of criminal offenders ultimately are incarcerated and because bias may be introduced by the long sievelike process that leads to incarceration. This sievelike progression includes selection processes that event in both the exclusion and the inclusion of immigrants from the ultimate risk of incarceration. For example, although it is the case that police are often assumed to concentrate attending on immigrants forth with other minorities, it is also the example that immigrants are sometimes just deported rather than charged with crimes. Research is needed to found whether these early sources of choice in the criminal justice system simply counterbalance i another or atomic number 82 to systematic over- or under representation of immigrants in prison.

Read:   In Uniform Circular Motion Which of the Following Are Constant

Meanwhile, even our knowledge of prisoners is express by the absence of comprehensive national data. Our cognition of incarcerated offenders is based largely on a survey of land prison inmates conducted in 1991 (U.Due south. Department of Justice, 1993) and on a survey of state and federal departments of corrections conducted in 1995 (Wunder, 1995). The erstwhile study is documented in greater

Suggested Citation:“nine Immigration and Crime in the United States.” National Inquiry Council. 1998.
The Immigration Argue: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: ten.17226/5985.

×

detail, with a reported response rate by surveyed inmates of well-nigh 94 per centum, merely is susceptible to the failings of the subjects’ self-reporting, including problems of memory and deceit. The latter survey of correctional agencies reached high levels of coverage on some matters, just encountered bureaucratic bug on others, as illustrated by the California Department of Corrections, the largest prison system in the Us, which reported national origins of “immigrants” based on data collected on citizens too as noncitizens. We are every bit careful as possible in this chapter to employ the term immigrant only to refer to noncitizens and to use the term noncitizen instead of immigrant when the original sources do so; just at that place may be some cases in which the original sources we rely on accept included foreign-born citizens amidst immigrants without indicating they are doing so.

By 1980 the per centum of the U.S. population formed by noncitizens was estimated to be between 4 and 5 percent (see Isbister, 1996:37). The Survey of State Prisons reported that more than 4 percent, or 31,300 state prison house inmates, were not U.S. citizens. The Section of Corrections survey indicated that more 7 percent, or 71,294 state and federal prison inmates, were not U.S. citizens. The latter figure is larger in function considering it includes federal prisoners and also considering the survey was conducted two years later during a growth spurt in prison house populations. Nevertheless, in that location is still a disparity between these two sources that underscores the difficulties of assembling data on clearing and crime in the United States. This point is further underscored past a contempo Agency of Justice Statistics written report (Scalia, 1996) that indicates that at that place were less than xix,000 noncitizens in federal prisons in 1994, more than 7,000 fewer noncitizens than indicated in the
Corrections Compendium
report from one year before referenced above (Wunder, 1995). Scalia’s written report indicates in its kickoff figure (1996:one) that about 14,000 noncitizens were serving a sentence of imprisonment in a federal prison in 1991, whereas the terminal table in this study (1996:10) indicates that 9,916 noncitizens were inmates in federal prisons in 1991.

We are left with a range of estimates that between four and 7 percent of prison inmates in the United States are noncitizens, compared with estimates that legal immigrants plant betwixt 4 and 5 pct of the U.S. population, with maybe equally much as 1 percent more than of the U.S. population being illegal immigrants (Passel and Woodrow, 1984). Of course, this tells us nothing nigh whether specific immigrant groups are over- or underrepresented in prisons. The most systematic and comprehensive published data on the national origins of noncitizens in prisons are plant in the 1991 Survey of Land Prisons. Well-nigh half of the immigrants in country prisons (47%) came from Mexico, whereas almost another quaternary (26%) were from Latin and Caribbean countries. Together, these figures betoken that a large majority of immigrant inmates in U.S. country prisons, perchance between lxx and 80 per centum, are of Hispanic origin. This distribution of the national origins of immigrants in land prisons is quite like to that found amid immigrants bedevilled of an offense in the U.S. commune courts in 1994 (encounter

Suggested Citation:“9 Immigration and Crime in the United States.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Fiscal Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

Scalia, 1996:Table 2). About 45 percent of the legal immigrants to the United States are Hispanic in origin (Heer, 1996:Table v.4). Of course this grouping is itself quite heterogeneous, including immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Commonwealth, Republic of colombia, El salvador, Guatemala, and other countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean area islands.

The heterogeneity of immigrant groups is an important source of complication in the human relationship between clearing and crime. Not only is there social and cultural variation, for example, amongst Hispanic immigrants, there may be further significant variation in self-selection to participate in detail kinds of crime, every bit well as in legal documentation, with regard to vulnerability to statutory mandatory sentences and further group-linked variations in age and gender. Of course, such sources of variation also plague studies of other full general correlates of crime, such equally poverty and family breakdown, and offense itself is a heterogeneous entity. These bug exercise not terminate research on these topics, but they do constitute reasons for caution in reaching policy-related conclusions. We attempt to address some of these concerns below.

Calculated on the basis of the Survey of State Prisons, the imprisonment rate for U.Due south. citizens is well-nigh iii.5 per 1,000 population. This rate is used as the base for calculating ratios presented in the first column of Table 9-1 for the most frequently imprisoned immigrant groups in U.S. land prisons. These figures indicate that immigrants from Cuba and the Dominican Republic are incarcerated at rates betwixt four and five times those of citizens, that immigrants from Mexico, Jamaica and Colombia are incarcerated at rates from two to two and one-a half times those of citizens, and that immigrants from Guatemala and El Salva-

Tabular array 9-1 Rates of Incarceration in U.South. State Prisons Per 1,000 Population

Number of Persons who entered U.S. betwixt 1980 and 1990 (in thousands)

Inmates in Country Prisons

State Imprisonment Charge per unit

Country Imprisonment Charge per unit for Males fifteen–34***

National Origin

Mexico

ii,145

14,711

6.858

47.61

Republic of cuba

188

3,130

xvi.649

131.78

United Kingdom

154

313

two.032

19.34

Vietnam

336

313

ane.073

6.81

El Salvador

350

1,252

3.577

26.48

Dominican Republic

185

two,817

15.227

126.98

Jamaica

155

1,252

viii.077

69.52

Colombia

146

1,252

8.575

78.242

Republic of guatemala

154

626

4.065

73.33

State Citizens

217,182*

751,200**

3.459

45.51

*U.S. Population less foreign-born noncitizens

**Inmates who are U.S. citizens

***Rate based on adjusting base of operations for country-specific immigrant sex ratio and overall immigrant historic period distribution

Suggested Commendation:“ix Clearing and Crime in the U.s.a..” National Research Council. 1998.
The Clearing Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Printing. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

dor are incarcerated at about the same charge per unit as citizens. Call up that the circumstances of immigration from Cuba and the Dominican Democracy have been shaped quite uniquely past political forces that have led many individuals with backgrounds in offense to migrate to the United states of america: for instance, when Castro allowed over 100,000 people, including many prison house inmates, to leave Republic of cuba in 1980. A event is that there is considerable variability in Hispanic rates of imprisonment, and it is therefore a mistake to assume that these rates are uniformly high or that there is an undifferentiated human relationship between immigration and crime.

Rates of immigrant imprisonment are complicated further by the fact, noted at the outset of this chapter, that immigrants are younger and more often male than are citizens. Because young men are at much greater risk than others for involvement in criminal offense and imprisonment, the base of operations used in calculating an imprisonment charge per unit for immigrants is probably most usefully adjusted for sex and age. In the terminal cavalcade of Table nine-1 we have calculated imprisonment ratios using denominators for the compared rates that guess the male populations of immigrants betwixt 15 and 34 years of age from the various countries. The resulting ratios reveal a greater similarity between immigrants and citizens than was previously apparent.

The adjusted male rate for Mexican immigrants between ages 15 and 34 (47.61) is particularly notable because it is quite similar to the U.S. citizen rate (45.51). By this measure, the prototype of Mexican immigrants as more criminal than citizens is somewhat misleading. The imprisonment rates for some of the remaining countries are however substantially higher than the citizen charge per unit. The Jamaican (69.52), Guatemalan (73.33), and Colombian (78.24) rates cluster at an intermediate level, whereas the Dominican (126.98) and Cuban (131.78) rates cluster at a higher level. Yet, even the latter rates are now less than three times, whereas they were previously more than four times, the citizen rate. Information technology is important to proceed in heed that, although the Cuban and Dominican
rates
are relatively loftier, in absolute terms these are rather pocket-size immigrant population groups, and therefore their contributions to prison populations are limited. Mexicans (14,711) form by a multiple of more than than four (compared with three,130 Cubans) the largest group of state prison inmates, even though their age-adapted male state imprisonment charge per unit is similar to that for citizens. This brings us back to a point fabricated above, that if offense reduction is the sole and accented priority, in that location is reason for concern.

Nonetheless, there is besides the further consideration that imprisonment rates inevitably are a consequence of several factors: involvement and apprehension for criminal beliefs and decisions made most the prosecution and punishment of this behavior. As we further document below, there is reason to believe that Mexican and other immigrants may experience some unique risks of imprisonment for their crimes. These risks may effect from differences in initial and predisposition custody decisions for illegal aliens. Detention prior to trial and sentencing is commonly plant to increment the likelihood of conviction and ultimate incarcera-

Suggested Citation:“nine Immigration and Offense in the U.s..” National Inquiry Council. 1998.
The Clearing Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

tion (see Hagan and Bumiller, 1983). Information technology may as well be the example that immigrant drug offenders are sentenced with greater severity than others.

The nearly detailed contempo written report of criminal justice processing decisions involving immigrants was undertaken in El Paso and San Diego by Pennell et al. (1989). This study constitute in both cities that illegal aliens fabricated upwardly the largest proportion of immigrants prosecuted, and that these illegal aliens were much less likely than others to be released from jail prior to trial. For case, in El Paso only 14 percent of illegal immigrants compared with over fifty percentage of all others were able to “bailout” prior to trial. This deviation may be associated with the fact that the Immigration and Naturalization Service can identify “holds” on illegal immigrants, that illegal aliens are financially less able to mail service bail, and that illegal immigrants are less likely to take the community ties that often are required for early release. When defendant persons are unable to obtain release they may have greater difficulty generating resources to defend themselves in courtroom, leaving them more vulnerable to conviction, and ultimately to imprisonment.

To assess the above possibilities we reanalyzed the Pennell et al. data that were collected in El Paso and San Diego. The results are presented in Table ix-2. These results confirm that immigrants in general in El Paso and San Diego are more probable to exist detained prior to trial, and that, in turn, detention earlier trial increases the risks of conviction and imprisonment. That is, immigrants are at greater run a risk of conviction and imprisonment because they are more than vulnerable to pretrial detention. In addition, immigrants in El Paso and San Diego who are charged with drug offenses are more likely than others to exist sentenced to prison. These differences cannot be the result of immigrants having more than extensive criminal histories, because Scalia (1996:Table 4) demonstrates that noncitizens are much less likely to have a prior known criminal history. A likely implication of these findings is that processing differences upshot in immigrants being overrepresented in prison populations. It will exist important for further research to examine counterbalancing decisions, for example involving deportation, but the current findings suggest the likelihood that immigrants are overrepresented in prison as a result of justice system decision making.

An additional source of misperceptions about immigration and crime that may issue from the uncritical reliance on prison statistics involves ways in which these figures are often used in characterizing immigrant criminality. The 1991 Survey of State Prison Inmates reported that nearly one-half of all alien inmates were incarcerated for drug offenses, that almost 40 pct of these alien inmates used drugs during the month prior to their arrest, and that well-nigh 20 percent were under the influence of drugs at the time of their current offense. The 1991 survey reports that very high proportions of conflicting inmates from Colombia (87 pct) and the Dominican Commonwealth (67 percent) were incarcerated for drug offenses.

Although it is the case that but over 20 percent of all inmates were incarcerated for drug offenses in 1991, about one-half of all inmates said they had been using

Suggested Citation:“9 Immigration and Law-breaking in the United States.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Fiscal Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: ten.17226/5985.

×

Tabular array nine-2 Logit Models for Being Detained, Convicted, and Imprisoned in El Paso and San Diego

A. El Paso

Variables

Pre-Trial Detention (n=2253)

Conviction

(n=2253)

Incarceration

(n=885)

Immigrant

one.35(.13)*

-.08(.nineteen)

-.52(.twoscore)

Male

.63(.19)*

.48(.19)*

.xc(.39)*

Less than twenty

-.67(.11)*

.34(.11)*

-1.13(.19)*

Violence

-.49(.13)*

-.68(.thirteen)*

.43(.25)+

Drugs

-.70(.14)*

.06(.14)

.08(.24)

Violence*Immigrant

-1.10(.26)*

-.09(.29)

.36(.53)

Drugs*Immigrant

-.82(.39)*

-.20(.thirty)

one.17(.51)*

Detained

.44(.11)*

1.74(.xix)*

Detained*Immigrant

.33(.21)

-.61(.42)

Log Likelihood

-1420

-1449

-506

B. San Diego

Pre-Trial Detention (n=2253)

Conviction

(due north=2253)

Incarceration

(n=885)

Immigrant

1.26(.17)*

-.59(.20)*

-.16(.40)

Male

1.42(.37)*

-.12(.21)

-.16(.40)

Less than 20

-.05(.17)

.15(.18)

-.32(.25)

Violence

-.17(.22)

-.33(.21)

.18(.70)

Drugs

-i.46(.37)*

-.37(.22)+

-2.96(1.02)*

Violence*Immigrant

.05(.30)

-.29(.38)

.71(.41)+

Drugs*Immigrant

-.07(.44)

.57(.33)+

ii.xvi(1.13)+

Detained

2.29(.33)*

2.29(.29)*

Detained*Immigrant

.79(.42)+

-1.fifteen(.43)*

Log Likelihood

-730

-683

-372

*
p8.05, two-tailed.

+ p8.10, two-tailed.

Read:   Which Statement Best Summarizes Gregor Mendel's Contribution to Science

drugs in the calendar month before their current offense, and more than thirty percent of all inmates said that they had been under the influence of drugs at the time of their current crime. So although there may be a concentration in drug offenses among imprisoned Hispanic offenders, peculiarly from Colombia and the Dominican Republic, levels of drug use among Hispanic offenders in general seem to be about the aforementioned or lower than in the broader population of inmates. Scalia (1996:vii) besides reports that noncitizen offenders tend more than oftentimes than citizens to be involved in “minor” and “depression-level” drug offenses. This adds to the uncertainty as to whether and to what extent the imprisonment of Hispanic defendants from particular countries for drug offenses may be a product of their concentration in this type of crime equally contrasted with the courts selecting this blazon of offense among immigrants from Republic of colombia and the Dominican Republic.

Suggested Citation:“9 Immigration and Crime in the United States.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: x.17226/5985.

×

There is further reason to question the impression left by prison house statistics that Hispanic offenders are heavily involved with drugs. The enquiry literature indicates that Hispanics compared with other Americans accept lower rates of crack cocaine smoking (Wagner-Echeagary et al., 1994) and of drug-related deaths (Hayes-Bautista et al., 1994). These findings are office of a larger pattern indicating that recently arrived Hispanic immigrants are healthier on a multifariousness of measures than other Americans, and that over time these differences diminish, with Hispanic Americans becoming more like other Americans in their health problems (Scribner, 1996).

Nonetheless, the perception remains that immigrants are a pregnant cause of American law-breaking problems. The 1994 U.South. Commission on Immigration Reform set out to appraise perceived and actual links between immigration policy and crime in El Paso. The Commission found that the El Paso offense charge per unit was perceived as escalating dramatically in recent years in spite of efforts of local law enforcement agencies. This escalating crime problem was seen as resulting from El Paso’south rapid urban growth, which in turn was fed by migration from Mexico, including a large illegal population. The Commission reported that “… many people believe that undocumented aliens are the source of the increment in serious crime in El Paso and that the increasing number of undocumented aliens is due to the U.Due south. Government’s inability to control the edge” (1994:eighteen).

The Commission sought to assess the ground of these perceptions in several ways, including a comparison of El Paso with other cities of like size and a regression analysis focusing on the effects of proximity to the Mexican edge on law-breaking rates in El Paso and elsewhere. The initial comparison with similarly sized cities was revealing. El Paso’s total 1992 offense charge per unit ranked 30th among xl U.Due south. cities of comparable size. El Paso ranked in a higher place the mean for the 40 cities only on larceny-theft, for which information technology ranked 13th and was inside 10 percentage of the mean for all cities. This concentration in minor forms of belongings law-breaking is consistent with the El Paso and San Diego study cited higher up (Pennell et al. 1989), which finds that about two-thirds of the illegal immigrants in each of these cities were arrested for property crimes, with only ix to xv percent arrested for drug crimes. Meanwhile, the 1994 Commission study indicates that the El Paso murder rate was trivial more than one-third of that for all the cities and was 12 percentage lower than the national average. The murder charge per unit for El Paso is also comparable to its border urban center Juarez. So in spite of its much higher charge per unit of poverty, Juarez also has a relatively depression homicide rate as least as compared with U.S. cities. Although, similar other cities, El Paso saw increases in fierce crime in the 1980s, it notwithstanding remains at the lower end of the spectrum for cities of comparable size.

Equally a further means of assessing the possible effects of Hispanic immigration on crime, the Commission besides reported the results of regression analyses on violent and property crime for 244 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the The states. In addition to including conventional measures of urban and economic conditions in these MSAs, the regression equations also included vari-

Suggested Citation:“nine Immigration and Law-breaking in the U.s.a..” National Research Quango. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Printing. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

ables representing location within 100 miles of the U.South.-Mexican border or in Texas (if not on the border) or in another border land (Arizona, California, or New Mexico). The results of these regression analyses revealed that the border effects were all negative for violent crime and largely so for belongings law-breaking. The conclusion from this analysis is that “if the data advise annihilation about the edge’s touch on crime, it is that crime is lower on average in border areas than in other U.Southward. cities when the characteristics of the urban population are held constant” (1994:20). Nevertheless, the Commission concedes that a more straight test of the furnishings of immigration, specially illegal immigration, requires more than specific measures.

We undertook a more direct test of immigration effects at the level of standard metropolitan statistical areas (SMSAs) by joining measures of legal and illegal immigration, developed by Edible bean et al. (1988) and based on a methodology used previously for the nation and states by Warren and Passel (1987), with Compatible Crime Study data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The estimate of the legally resident noncitizen population was generated using conflicting registration data for 1980 from the Clearing and Naturalization Service and data on legally admitted aliens for January-March 1980 for SMSAs. This number was then subtracted from the effigy for aliens counted in the 1980 census (corrected for nonreporting of land of birth, misreporting of citizenship, and misreporting of nativity) to obtain an approximate for undocumented aliens. Awarding of these procedures also yielded an judge of legal noncitizens. The corrections and adjustments used in developing these estimates are described in greater particular by Warren and Passel (1987) and Passel and Woodrow (1984). Although these estimates of illegal immigrants are dependent on the numbers of undocumented immigrants included in the 1980 census, non the number really nowadays, Bean et al. (1988:39) point that “it is likely that the distribution … of the undocumented population non included in the 1980 Census might exist like to the distribution of those included.”

We began our analysis with the 47 SMSAs considered by Bean et al. (1988) that are located in the five southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New United mexican states, and Texas, with iv edge SMSAs in Texas deleted considering they include substantial areas and populations in Mexico. Thirteen of these SMSAs were not represented in the Uniform Crime Report data, and then 34 SMSAs were ultimately bachelor for our analysis. The three outcome measures of law-breaking included violent crime rates, holding crime rates, and total law-breaking rates. Results are presented in Table nine-iii.

Nosotros initially regressed logged arrest rates on the proportions of the population age 15 and over who were estimated in the 34 SMSAs to be illegal immigrants or noncitizens, black, and living in poverty. The illegal immigrant and noncitizen measures were introduced separately in equations to avoid collinearity problems. Box-Cox transformations were applied in this assay and we selected the variant that produced the highest R2, which involved taking the logs of

Suggested Commendation:“9 Immigration and Criminal offence in the Usa.” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Financial Furnishings of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

Table 9-3 Linear Models of Crime Rates in Selected Southwestern SMSAs (northward=34)a

Linear Models for Logged Abort Rates

Full Variablesb

Violence Arrests

Property Arrests

Arrests

A. Illegal Immigrant Equations

Illegal Immigrants

.07

.23

-.04

(.12)

(.12)

(.10)

Black

-.07

-.03

-.eleven

(.08)

(.08)

(.07)

Poverty

-.xxx

-.64

-.50

(.30)

(.43)

(.37)

Rtwo/L

.03

.14

.10

B. Noncitizen Equations

Noncitizens

.19(.14)

.43(.12)*

.12(.12)

Black

-.05(.08)

.02(.07)

-.10(.07)

Poverty

-.45(.45)

-.92(.40)*

-.59(.78)

R2/50

.08

.25

.12

a
Standard errors in parentheses

b
Independent variables in linear models are proportions of population age 15 and in a higher place.

*
p eight .05

the independent and dependent variables. In no instance was the measure of percentage illegal immigrants significantly correlated with whatever of the three outcome law-breaking measures, and the noncitizen mensurate was significant in only one instance. As a further examination of potential influence, nosotros created dummy variables, with the SMSAs in the highest quartile on each variable coded as a dummy variable in poisson models of abort counts. This operationalization was an attempt to capture the furnishings of more farthermost concentrations of effected groups, with, for example, the dummy variable for proportion of illegal immigrants indicating SMSAs with more than 1 percent of the population in this group. This coding yielded more statistically significant but nonetheless inconsistent results, and and so nosotros do not nowadays them. There is no consequent or compelling evidence at the SMSA level that clearing causes crime.

Word AND CONCLUSIONS

We have suggested that an overreliance on prison statistics is a problematic basis for developing our understanding of immigration and crime. It is of further business organisation, in the political and economic context of toll reduction and shifting described at the outset of this chapter, that the prisons that collect these crime statistics may take an understandable involvement in attracting atten-

Suggested Citation:“9 Clearing and Crime in the Us.” National Research Quango. 1998.
The Clearing Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Printing. doi: ten.17226/5985.

×

tion to them, for purposes of offsetting high per inmate costs of incarceration. These statistics often are used to make the indicate that the numbers of immigrants in prison house are substantial, and that a large proportion of immigrants who are in prison for drug charges are from Mexico. However, it is also the case that increasing numbers of immigrants have been coming to the United States from Mexico to work for employers who are eager to have them as employees (Calavita, 1994). These immigrants are disproportionately immature and male, and therefore of an historic period and gender for whom crime is a relatively common and frequently transient experience, regardless of citizenship. So a start business concern is to take into account not only the increased immigration that is occurring from Mexico, merely also the age and sexual activity distribution of these immigrants in considering their numbers in prison. When nosotros practice this we observe that Mexican immigrants are found in state prisons at an adjusted charge per unit that is non strikingly unlike from U.South. citizens. Of course, this does not mean we should be unconcerned virtually the growing numbers of Mexican immigrants in prison. The costs of this imprisonment are high and a concern with the accented book of offense involved is understandable. The adjustments for gender and historic period that nosotros have introduced are intended to provide a context for understanding the numbers and costs involved.

At the aforementioned time, it is also important to accept into account that immigrants from United mexican states and elsewhere may be subject to differential handling in the criminal justice system. For instance, nosotros have demonstrated that immigrants in El Paso and San Diego are at greater risk of being detained prior to trial, and that this results in their increased likelihood of beingness convicted and imprisoned. Too, we have shown that immigrants in these cities who are charged with drug offenses are at an elevated chance of being sentenced to prison. The overall implications of these findings will non exist certain, however, until more is learned well-nigh potentially offsetting practices that result from diverting immigrants from the criminal justice system and deporting them from the country.

Some other source of public business concern is that immigrants, and especially illegal immigrants, are a source of drug problems in the United states. Withal, arrest records in cities such as El Paso and San Diego suggest that illegal immigrants are less likely than citizens to be involved in drug offense, and instead that they are most distinctively involved in property criminal offense. This kind of petty property offense activity is consistent with the picture of offending that Freeman (1996) has suggested in his foraging model of crime. That is, young male illegal immigrants may be most likely to get involved in petty belongings crime as they attempt to satisfy basic subsistence needs while moving through the early stages of seeking, finding, losing, and regaining employment.

Overall, nosotros did non detect consistent evidence in macro- or micro-level information that immigrants are much more probable than citizens of like ages and gender to be involved in criminal offense. In particular, we take found that the epitome presented in prison statistics of the largest group of current immigrants to the United states,

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The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economical, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Printing. doi: ten.17226/5985.

×

from Mexico, is potentially misleading. Our data suggest that Mexican immigrants are more like their age and gender peers than is commonly assumed. This finding helps to resolve a paradox in the picture of Mexican immigration to the U.s.a., because by other measures of health and well-being—including smoking, drug employ, and the birthweight of babies—Mexican immigrants are generally found to do likewise or better than U.S. citizens. One statement is that this is because of the strength of extended and nuclear families and religion in Mexican families. Insofar as this is the case, nosotros may wish to place the priority on finding ways to preserve, protect, and promote the social and cultural capital that Mexican immigrants bring to their feel in the United States, rather than overemphasize issues of crime and penalisation.

One specially important way in which Mexican and other immigrants to this state might do good from better protection involves the risks to which they are exposed as victims of crime. In this chapter we take not considered the criminal victimization of immigrants largely considering we could notice no available source of data on this topic (but run across Sorenson and Shen, 1996). The U.S. government invests large sums in public surveys of offense victimization, but these surveys do not include significant numbers of immigrants, and no special surveys of immigrants take been undertaken for this purpose. This task deserves special priority.

Read:   The Fate of the Roanoke Colonists is Unclear Because

Also, and all the same the potentially misleading picture we take found with regard to issues of immigration and crime, especially in the Mexican context, further work should be attentive to at to the lowest degree two poorly understood issues. The first involves the important task of making projections into the futurity that take into business relationship interrelations among immigration, differential fertility, and social behavior. As we hash out in the Appendix to this chapter, higher rates of fertility among immigrant groups, either lone or in combination with other factors, such as criminal justice organisation bias, could event in immigrants forming larger proportions of prison house populations in the hereafter, even if their group propensities to crime remain abiding. These processes are in demand of farther study.

Second, information technology is besides likely the case that specific groups of immigrants, much like specific groups of citizens, do have a heightened propensity that leads them to be disproportionately involved in criminal offense. This typically involves countries with relatively few immigrants to the United States. In these cases in which clearing is rather limited, in that location may be unique social networks and selection processes that explicate the college rates of crime interest. If legal immigration from these countries was greater, it is plausible that rates of crime associated with these immigrant groups in the U.s.a. would be less striking, if only considering the effects of these pick processes and social networks would be diluted. We know too little about these special cases to say much more than, only enough to recognize that information technology is likely misleading to extrapolate from such cases to the experience of immigrants more by and large.

Suggested Commendation:“9 Immigration and Crime in the U.s..” National Research Council. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

APPENDIX: PROJECTIONS INTO THE FUTURE: INTERRELATIONS Betwixt IMMIGRATION, DIFFERENTIAL FERTILITY, AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

A natural issue to address is the extent to which recent immigration trends will influence future trends of criminal beliefs. The fact that we found piddling compelling show suggesting that those who enter the The states, either illegally or legally, have higher propensities to become involved in illegal activities does not necessarily imply that the relation volition be absent in the future. The following are several hypotheses that deserve further consideration when data and resources become available.

Differential Fertility of Recent Immigrants Makes a Difference

Assume for the sake of simplicity that the clearing menses is stopped now and that those who have already gained entrance into the Us go on to acquit as they take so far, that is, that their propensity to go involved in criminal activities remains constant and roughly the same every bit that of citizens. To the extent that electric current immigrants do indeed experience higher fertility than citizens—as some bear witness seems to verify—the population exposed to go involved in law-breaking 10–fifteen years from now will exist disproportionately drawn from among contempo immigrant groups. Several regularities will follow. First, the contribution of the immigrant population (also including the 2nd generation) to the full crime charge per unit will increase, as will their share amidst those who are incarcerated. This is not an effect of higher involvement in criminal offence or of college level of seriousness of offenses, but a simple result of the influence of differential fertility on the distribution of populations exposed to criminal activity. The larger than proportional contribution of immigrants to the population convicted and incarcerated will as well persist if, as the data bachelor to us seem to indicate, immigrants involved in criminal offence are more probable to be convicted and incarcerated than comparable counterparts amidst citizens.

The relative contribution of immigrant groups will, of course, be college if immigration trends go along and if their risk of becoming involved in criminal activities exceeds that of citizens. This is addressed below.

Success, Adaptation, and Increase in Criminal Behavior

As argued in the text of this chapter, a small subset of those who enter legally or illegally into the United States have higher propensities to commit crimes because their archway into the United States is associated with ties to networks and organizations that apply them as inexpensive labor for organized criminal activities. The majority of immigrants, however, do non differ initially from other citizens of comparable socioeconomic status in their immediate involvement in

Suggested Commendation:“9 Immigration and Crime in the United States.” National Enquiry Quango. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Financial Effects of Immigration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

criminal offense. Indeed, it can exist argued that they may have fifty-fifty less propensity to get involved in criminal activities, if only as a way of protecting their legal residence condition or of averting outright repatriation.

However, every bit adaptation and acculturation continue, there are a number of scenarios that could take place. Offset, if accommodation to U.S. society proceeds seamlessly, the immigrant will exist exposed to roughly similar conditions equally the population of citizens, and consequently their involvement in crime will be comparable to that of citizens, and their response to change in economic well-existence (employment and real wages) will be roughly like to the population as a whole. If and so, the overall criminal offence rates volition be affected hardly at all. As suggested above, withal, if differential fertility persists for a generation or so, the event will exist a college contribution of firstand second-generation immigrants to the total pool of criminal activities and criminals apprehended.

Second, if the integration of the immigrant population is more arduous and hard due to obstacles ranging from those associated with their human majuscule limitations to inflexibilities in the social system, their propensity to be involved in crime could be higher than that found in the rest of the population. This will heighten the overall law-breaking charge per unit unless at that place are comparable reductions among citizens. Furthermore, to the extent that the 2d generation experiences even worse adaptation difficulties—as has been informally documented in the literature in other areas—the rate of criminal activity will increment and therefore volition enhance the contribution to criminal offense associated with a particular migration flow.

The 2d scenario suggests the possibility that first- and second-generation immigrants will be involved more permanently in criminal activities, rather than participating in them intermittently, as a foraging model would suggest. A counterargument is that shadow wages are lower among immigrants in both the first and second generation and that this should slow down or prevent birthday their involvement in criminal offense.

Differential Fertility and Differential Accommodation

Adaptation under conditions of scarcity, poverty, and lack of access to education and training may turn out to exist difficult for both the showtime generation of immigrants and their descendants. Insofar as higher fertility adds to the stress to which they are exposed upon arrival, one should expect a direct relation among relatively loftier fertility, conditions of poverty, and exposure to the risk of interest in crime. This machinery will ensure that subgroups of immigrants —those with higher fertility—will manifest college propensities to get involved in crime than those amid immigrants with lower fertility and than among citizens with lower comparable levels of fertility.

If all iii processes described higher up do in fact operate, the results should be (a) an increase in the overall rate of crime and (b) an increase in the contribution to criminal activities associated with immigrants. If, in addition, anticipation of

Suggested Citation:“9 Immigration and Crime in the Usa.” National Research Quango. 1998.
The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Clearing. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5985.

×

immigrants and the subsequent judicial processes contain biases like to those illustrated in this chapter, then (c) a disproportionate share of the population of detained and incarcerated individuals also as an unequal share of the corresponding costs will be associated with first- or second-generation immigrants.

A uncomplicated tool to written report the trajectory of the identified procedure is the projection of populations of citizens and immigrants by classes of historic period, poverty status, propensity to crime, and rates of detention and incarceration. A year-by-year bookkeeping of the populations in the various classes tin can exist accomplished with information on fertility, mortality, and social mobility across classes. Information on propensity to criminal activeness, changes in the propensity over time, and the various risks associated with the unfolding of the judicial process could exist obtained from surveys eliciting self-reported criminal activity from various ethnic or national groups and from time series of arrests and incarceration, where the latter also include data on national origins.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Nosotros acknowledge the helpful assistance of Frank Bean, Jeffrey Passel, Patricia Parker, Elizabeth Arias, Handamala Rafalimanana, and Elaine Sieff.

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Crime Became a Negative Result of Immigration Because

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