Research Brief: Immigration and Crime

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Federal immigration policy remains at the forefront of national dialogue in the US, but the debate is nothing new—it has been a constant throughout our nation’s history. Equally long-standing is the shared belief among some policymakers and voters that increases in immigration lead to increases in crime and that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens.

Indeed, the tendency to ignore overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and instead allow the polarized political debate to shape immigration policy decisions, can also be traced back throughout the history of the United States.

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