Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New Cato Research on Immigration & Incarceration

In a new paper, Incarcerated Immigrants in 2016: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin, by Michelangelo Landgrave and Alex Nowrasteh:
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has expanded interior immigration enforcement and made it easier for states and local governments to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants.1 His actions are often based on the widespread perception that illegal immigrants are a significant and disproportionate source of crime in the United States.2 This brief uses American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze incarcerated immigrants according to their citizenship and legal status for 2016. The data show that all immigrants—legal and illegal—are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population. By themselves, illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans...
 Previous empirical studies of immigrant criminality generally find that immigrants do not increase local crime rates, are less likely to cause crime than their native-born peers, and are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.5 Illegal immigrant incarceration rates are not well studied; however, recent Cato Institute research based on data from the Texas Department of Public Safety found that, as a percentage of their respective populations, illegal immigrants represented 56 percent fewer criminal convictions than native-born Americans in Texas in 2015.6 The low illegal immigrant incarceration rate is consistent with other research that finds more targeting of immigrants does not reduce the crime rate, which would occur if they were more crime prone than natives...
An estimated 1,955,951 native-born Americans, 117,994 illegal immigrants, and 43,618 legal immigrants were incarcerated in 2016. The incarceration rate for native-born Americans was 1,521 per 100,000, 800 per 100,000 for illegal immigrants, and 325 per 100,000 for legal immigrants in 2016 (Figure 1). Illegal immigrants are 47 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. Legal immigrants are 78 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives. If native-born Americans were incarcerated at the same rate as illegal immigrants, about 930,000 fewer natives would be incarcerated. Conversely, if natives were incarcerated at the same rate as legal immigrants, about 1.5 million fewer natives would be in adult correctional facilities.


  1. They all need to go back. Even Barbara Jordan, a KKK black racist from the 90's appointed by Clinton, said immigration policy should work for Americans first. Anyway, I'm for pretty much zero immigration. The unemployment rate is not 4% and there is no skills gap or whatever or BS the corporatocracy likes to promote to justify the crappy wages. But hey, I know libertardians think race, IQ, and culture are irrelevant and magic dirt will make them all into limited government citizens.

    1. Re: He-Who-Fantasizes-About-White-European-Males

      --- They all need to go back. ---

      No, they don't have to do anything. All immigrants are invited in by people who are more than willing to trade with them, employ them, rent to them and even marry them.

      ---Even Barbara Jordan, ---

      Who gives a flying pea?

      --- Anyway, I'm for pretty much zero immigration. ---

      Just like North Korea has a zero immigration policy. Or Myanmar.

      --- magic dirt will make them all into limited government citizens. ---

      What can be known for a fact, devoid of controversy, is that Trumpista magic dirt is not made of 'limited government' citizens, quite the contrary.

    2. Go back to your STD infected black males. We do not need any 'turd' world trash from Africa or South America. You have yet to show that other than white Europeans, no one else has produced as much as this group of people. As usual, you are a clueless idiot.

  2. Not that this is the first study to show as much, but it remains a pretty astonishing result that even illegal immigrants have a lower incarceration rate than natives. This is a subgroup that, by definition, is willing to disobey the dictates of the US government, so just based on that, one would expect them to run afoul of the “authorities” on a more frequent basis. That they do not is an extremely encouraging sign, and shows that they’re generally able to make the mental distinction between “illegal” and “wrong”.

    1. I have no idea if the results would be different if they used a different criterion, but one weakness of focusing on incarceration rates seems to be that this only measures those who are actually caught, convicted, and imprisoned (as opposed to merely fined or given some lesser punishment), which reflects enforcement policies and effectiveness. It doesn't necessarily measure criminal activity overall. My point is, is this study as conclusive as its authors seem to hope it would be?

  3. Natives are not homogeneous. There are, obviously, ethnic groups which are much more crime-prone, and these groups are responsible for most of the crime.

    This chart is an example of lying with statistics.

    1. And immigrants ARE homogenous?

    2. Not, and this is reflected in the breakdown, to a some extent. For some reason Chinese, Indians, Canadians, and Europeans tend to go through legal immigration. They are also much less likely to be criminals.

      It would be more instructive to compare legal Latin American immigration vs illegal, and to the population of citizens of Latin American descent. Tossing all kinds of groups in the mix is misleading and statistically invalid.

      Just to make it clear: I'm not for armed bureaucrats deciding who should be allowed it and who is not. But let's not weaken our position by promulgating the same kind of BS masquerading as statistics as the state worshipers do.

    3. Re: Vadim Antonov,

      --- For some reason Chinese, Indians, Canadians, and Europeans tend to go through legal immigration.---

      Clearly you're oblivious to the term "visa overstay".

      And it is a damned lie that "illegulz who takum er jebz!" are more prone to criminality than the native born. The native born do not risk being deported, so the deterrents are much different.

  4. They included blacks in the "native born americans" calculation.

  5. If the deterrent of deportation is removed why should we expect these numbers to remain the same?

    Also what is the impact of sanctuary political policies on these numbers?