May 13, 2019 – 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.
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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.