Kristin Butcher/Anne Morrison Piehl/PPIC: immigrants commit crimes at lower rate than U.S. citizens

From this:
Immigrants in California are far less likely to land in prison than their U.S.-born counterparts, a finding that defies the perception that immigration and crime are connected, according to a study released Monday.

Foreign-born residents make up 35 percent of the state's overall population, but only 17 percent of the adult prison population, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, which conducted the research.

Noncitizen men from Mexico between the ages of 18 and 40, which the study indicated were more likely to be in the country illegally, were eight times less likely to be in a "correctional setting," the study found...
The PPIC isn't exactly trustworthy, so I'm sure there's something that the study left out especially since it appears to have been designed to show... exactly what it purports to show. From their page (
Such findings suggest that longstanding fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified.
The authors are Kristin F. Butcher (associate professor of economics at Wellesley College) and Anne Morrison Piehl (associate professor of economics and faculty affiliate in criminal justice at Rutgers University). Hopefully someone will read the actual study and point out whether they've made any interesting errors or omissions.


The study doesn't differentiate between legal and illegal immigration, and it should have. Also, whether or not a person went to prison is not a good indicator of whether or not he committed a crime. The instant an illegal alien sets foot on American soil, he is a criminal. He has committed a crime. That's a crime rate of 100% for illegal aliens. 100% of those here legally have not committed crimes. Try debating this with Americans who've been affected by the crimes of even one illegal alien, like the families of the children lost in Cottonwood, Minnesota ( ).

LOL! I didn't mean that *none* of us here legally have committed crimes, just that not *all* of us have. Should have previewed that before posting. Doh!

You can't question people arrested or convicted about their immigration status. Come to California and live with the problem and taxes caused by illegals at all levels of our society. I weary of the apologists for criminal aliens illegal or otherwise.

Exactly as stated above. The don't discriminate between legal and illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants, by definition are breaking the law and they tend to break 3-4 laws - entry, working, fake identity, fake or stolen social secur. nbr., driver licence, income tax evasion, shall I continue?

I've seen such claims before. I'm sure there's something that the study left out..._ Yes, that immigrants have children. Hispanics, taken as a demographic group (they do make up the largest fraction of immigrants), do not compete well academically, join gangs, and generally commit crimes, especially violent crimes, at a significantly disproportionate rate. This why they are roughly 4x as likely as Whites to serve time in prison. So this result might hold if we could neuter all Hispanic immigrants. But I don't think the authors of this study would go for that. You could probably quibble with the results in other ways too. For example, how do immigrants fair vs Whites? About 15% of the US population is black, and Black are, on average, very significantly more criminal than Whites. Which means if you measure immigrants against the overall US population, it is a lot easier for them to compare favorably. Also among immigrants some demographic groups are significantly more criminal than others. Either way they aren't Americans and should not be coming here in such great numbers, whether they're boy scouts or not.

its a political and race its all BS and evil as hell.

Native born residents have almost always lived in the US their entire lives, making them potentially exposed to the US criminal justice system SINCE CHILDHOOD.A foreign born resident may have come here as a young child or the day before yesterday as an adult. I've heard it said that the typical criminal commits numerous crimes before getting caught; a typical illegal alien thief or rapist or murderer may not have been here long enough for his luck(on average) to have run out. Also we don't know how many illegals come to live in the US after the prime crime-committing years. I'm not a criminal justice expert but I seem to recall that criminal activity starts to tail off dramatically after about the age of 25 except for the really hard-core types.

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who: Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime. "Any alien who is present in the United States in violation of this Act or any other law of the United States is deportable." Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense. In addition to sneaking into the country in violation of the immigration law that requires that aliens be documented for legal entry (referred to as "entry without inspection -- EWI"), others enter with legal documentation and then violate the terms on which they have been admitted by taking jobs that are not authorized or overstaying the authorized period of stay in the country. The list below are all crimes involving illegal immigration: (1) Violating the immigration law is a FEDERAL CRIME (2) Forging documents is a FEDERAL FELONY CRIME (3) Passing forged documents is a FEDERAL FELONY CRIME (4) Stealing ID is a FEDERAL FELONY CRIME (5) Using stolen ID is a FEDERAL FELONY CRIME Here are just a few studies that give a much clearer picture of what is actually happening: A US GAO study found in a study population of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated, on average, each had been arrested 8 times for a total arrest figure of at least 459,614 times. If that isn't astounding enough, these 55,322 illegals in the study population had been arrested for committing 700,000 criminal offenses, which averages 13 crimes per illegal alien. So, each illegal alien incarcerated had been arrested 8 times and had committed at least 13 crimes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, in 2005, 25% of prisoners in federal prisons were illegal aliens, and 4% were legal aliens. This proportion has not gone down; if anything, it has gone up markedly. Bill O'Reilly is on record more recently stating that illegal aliens account for 32% of the federal and state prison population. According to the well-respected U.S. Center for Immigration Studies (, incarcerated convicted illegal aliens make up 29 percent of federal, state and local prisons at a cost of more than $1.6 billion annually. This number doubles when the costs for apprehension, the justice system, public defenders, interpreters, prosecutors and the courts add to the total. Illegals represent about 8 percent of Arizona's population and the Ar

Go to her bio webpage at Wellesley, it says it all. She used to work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. With such connections couldn't we have predicted the results before the so called "research" was conducted?

There is no hard data in the report. What we find are charts with the label, "Source: AuthorsÂ’ calculations from the 2000 U.S. Census.", so there's no way to verify the conclusions without repeating the research. The conclusion that has been picked up in media reports, that foreign-born males from Mexico (aka illegal) are institutionalized for (note: not commit) felonies at a lower rate than US-born, appears to flow from the authors' figure 5, which purports to show that 37% of males 18-40 in CA are foreign-born, with 20% of those from Mexico. My eyeball of that chart does not support the conclusion. Can you say, "Snow job?"

They've also left out the effect of deporting around 50,000 foreign-born, out of the prisons, and far outside the country, each year for the last 12 or so years. If instead, over 500,000 foreign criminals had accumulated in our prisons, the foreign born percentage would be more than twice their expected share.

Heh, nobody will read the story, not even the spouses of the authors. There's no need to read the study, its not remarkable that illegal aliens would engage in blatant criminal activities at a rate lower than their non-deportable anchor baby gang banger spawn. Most people behave better when they're subject to deportation if standards are enforced. A real study on the effects alien/immigrant crime would include the crime stats of the US children of aliens versus the crime stats of native Americans.

Here's another "crime study" nobody needs to read put out by the same "cabal" of pinheads Uh no, they don't breakout the immigrant alien spawn from natives.(I didn't read it, I don't need to) We all pay for these "studies" by these "NGOs" and "non-profits". Its offensive we pay for our own political propaganda, I feel like I live in some bullshit Commie comittee bureaucracy-oh wait I do.

To all you people who are responding to somebody's summary, the authors DO break out non-citizen data. Read the PDF [1]


Again, "institutionalization rates" are not a gauge of crime rates. "Foreign born," in the graphs, doesn't seperate illegal aliens from legal residents or citizens. Otherwise it would have to show an actual crime rate of 100% for illegal aliens. Though it does appear in at least one graph that the term "noncitizen foreign born men" is meant to politely describe illegal aliens. That graph still doesn't reflect their true crime rate. The flaw of using institutionalization as a gauge is simply a way of blurring facts in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. On page 14, it says that if both groups (foreign born and US born) are treated equally in the criminal justice system, the data presented here indicate that the foreign born have remarkably low rates of criminal offending in California. So the study *is* misleading, at the very least.