Criminal Immigrants in 2017: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin

Author: 
Michelangelo Landgrave & Alex Nowrasteh
Date of Publication: 
March, 2019
Source Organization: 
Cato Institute

Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has expanded interior immigration enforcement, made it easier for states and local governments to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants, and argued that building a wall is essential to reducing crime. These actions are largely based on the perception that illegal immigrants are a significant and disproportionate source of crime in the United States. This brief uses American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census to analyze incarcerated immigrants according to their citizenship and legal status in 2017. The data show that all immigrants—legal and illegal—are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population. By themselves, illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.

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Citation: 

Landgrave, M. & Nowrasteh, A. (2019). Criminal Immigrants in 2017: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin. Cato Institute. Retrieved from https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/irpb-11.pdf

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