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Contrary to President Trump, Deporting Immigrants Doesn’t Make Communities Safer, New Study Finds


Contrary to President Trump, Deporting Immigrants Doesn't Make Communities Safer, New Study Finds
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the rostrum after a press convention on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2019 in New York City. A brand new research has discovered that, opposite to Trump’s claims, lowering the immigrant inhabitants doesn’t usually result in decrease crime charges. Drew Angerer/Getty

President Donald Trump mentioned in an Oval Office handle that “thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now” on unlawful immigration. He famously opened his presidential marketing campaign with the slogan, “they’re bringing crime.” (The “they,” after all, referring to Mexican immigrants.)

But a new study from the Institute of Labor Economics is the newest to offer substantial proof rebutting this declare central to the president’s electioneering. Researchers discovered that not solely do deportations of undocumented immigrants fail to scale back crime charges, in some circumstances they’ll truly improve the incidence of sure crimes.

As President Barack Obama oversaw the rollout of the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program throughout his first time period in workplace, the variety of immigrant deportations surged. The program was designed to facilitate immigration standing checks at native jails, resulting in higher numbers of arrestees being flagged for federal immigration authorities.

During this system’s lifespan, over 450,000 folks had been deported beneath its auspices. But the institute’s research didn’t discover that this improve had any significant influence on crime. Immigration and Customs Enforcement constantly touts its prioritization of enforcement actions in opposition to undocumented immigrants with severe felony data. And the research’s authors do posit that deporting felony immigrants would have a helpful influence on crime charges.

“ICE remains committed to directing its enforcement resources to those aliens posing the greatest risk to the safety and security of the United States. By far, the largest percentage of aliens arrested by ICE are convicted criminals,” the company mentioned in its most up-to-date annual enforcement report.

In fiscal yr 2018, 66 p.c of immigrants arrested by ICE had a previous felony conviction. While nonetheless a majority of ICE arrests, that quantity has dropped considerably in recent times. In fiscal yr 2017, 74 p.c of ICE arrestees had a felony historical past. And the yr earlier than that—the final yr of the Obama administration—86 p.c did.

But the information analyzed by the research’s authors complicate the narrative ICE is searching for to painting. For one, the research notes that 45 p.c of deportees beneath the Secure Communities initiative had minor prior convictions or no convictions in any respect, regardless of how ICE describes its personal enforcement priorities.

Second, the paper acknowledges that immigration efforts focusing on criminals would, in truth, comport with ICE’s campaigns for neighborhood security. “If [Secure Communities] was effective at targeting serious criminals and removing them from the US, these deportations should decrease crime,” it asserts.

But the outcomes compiled by the researchers additionally solid a shadow on ICE’s felony prioritization claims, as they did not discover any significant discount in crime charges from the surge in deportations beneath the Obama administration.

Specifically, the research found {that a} lower within the immigrant inhabitants in native communities had no statistically significant influence on violent crime. Separately, the researchers additionally discovered that elevated deportations had been correlated with a small, however statistically vital improve in property crimes.

“Overall, our analysis suggests that there is not empirical support for the claims of the Trump administration and other public figures that immigrant deportations reduce crime and make communities safer,” the research concludes.

ICE didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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