July 19, 2007
Posted by scott at July 19, 2007 03:50 PM
It would seem recent immigrants are actually ten times less likely to commit a crime than the native-born. This is so counter-intuitive I'm having a bit of trouble getting my head around it. However, Bryan is an economics professor. If the authors of the paper were twiddling with the numbers for effect, I would think he'd spot it right away.
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On one hand, it could be because they don't want to get their neighbors so riled at them that they call the INS.
On the other hand, it could be because, since the illegals lack the means to be legally identified, the crimes they commit are seldom solved, and since these unsolvable crimes can't be traced to anyone legal or illegal, they aren't considered in the survey.
It wouldn't surprise me to find most of the crime being committed by legal children of illegal immigrants, who know so little of the country their parents fled that the indignities they see their parents suffer for their illegal status convince them at an early age that the better life their parents sacrificed so much to give them is actually slavery at the hands of Satan incarnate, and that any means they can use to strike back at it, from petty vandalism to outright terrorism, is no more than their fellow citizens deserve.
See: Debunking the Myth of Immigrant Criminality: Imprisonment Among First- and Second-Generation Young Men
By Rubén G. Rumbaut, Roberto G. Gonzales, Golnaz Komaie, and Charlie V. Morgan
University of California, Irvine
Incarceration rates increase significantly for all US-born coethnics without exception. That is most notable for Mexicans, whose incarceration rate increases more than eightfold to 5.9 percent among the US born; for Vietnamese (from 0.46 to 5.6 percent among the US born); and for the Laotians and Cambodians (from 0.92 percent to 7.26 percent, the highest of any group except for native blacks). Almost all of the US born among those of Latin American and Asian origin can be assumed to consist of second-generation persons, with the exception of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, whose numbers may include a sizable number (around 25 percent) of third-generation individuals. (Since 1980, when the questions on parents' country of birth were dropped, the decennial census has not permitted the precise identification of second vs. third or higher generations.)
Thus, while incarceration rates are found to be extraordinarily low among immigrants, they are also seen to rise rapidly by the second generation. Except for the Chinese and Filipinos, the rates of all US-born Latin American and Asian groups exceed that of the referent group of non-Hispanic white natives. "