#Immigrants don't commit more crimes. Why does the myth persist?

Immigrants in detention courtesy of Wikimedia.

Immigrants in detention courtesy of Wikimedia.

Even as researchers find that the foreign-born commit fewer crimes than their native-born peers, the perception that immigrants are uniquely crime prone permeates public and political discourse.

Of course the warnings and anxiety about “criminal immigrants” are nothing new. At the turn of the 20th century, nativists worried that the large numbers of Polish, Italians and Irish migrating to the United States would taint the bloodstream. Though the countries of origin of today’s migrant groups have shifted, a similar concern reverberates: Are immigrants bringing with them tendencies to offend, victimize and profit from the hard work of U.S. citizens? 

The findings exonerating the foreign-born are equally consistent. A sizable body of scientific research conducted by criminologists, sociologists and economists indicates that: Neighborhoods with more immigrants have lower rates of crime; an influx of immigrants has been shown to decrease crime; and that foreign-born individuals commit less crime than their U.S.-born peers.

Click this link for the full article on LA Times.