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January 11, 2018



DAILYKENN.com -- Those are crimes not related to immigration. 


From cis.org ▼

Non-Citizens Committed a Disproportionate Share of Federal Crimes, 2011-16

21% of those convicted of non-immigration crimes were non-citizens — 2.5 times their share of the population

Many immigration advocates argue that immigrants have much lower crime rates than natives (see this op-ed and this paper). As my colleague Jessica Vaughan and I pointed in a paper some years ago, however, the picture is far from clear. While there are other issues, the biggest problem with studying immigrant crime is that states and localities do not systematically track the country of birth, citizenship, or legal status of those they arrest, convict, or incarcerate. But the federal government does track the citizenship of those it convicts. New data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows that of those convicted of federal crimes between 2011 and 2016, 44.2 percent were not U.S. citizens — 21.4 percent, if immigration crimes are excluded. In comparison, non-citizens are 8.4 percent of the adult population. Of this 8.4 percent, about 4 percent are illegal immigrants and about 4 percent are legal immigrants.

The commission's data does not distinguish legal status among non-citizens. It is almost certain that a majority of the non-citizens convicted of federal crimes are illegal immigrants. But we cannot say for sure because that information is not provided. What we can say, at least at the federal level, is that non-citizens are more likely to commit crimes than citizens.

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