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Study: Illegal Aliens, DACA-Age Youth More than Twice as Likely to Be Convicted Criminals

By Craig Bannister | January 31, 2018 | 5:41pm EST
Study: undocumented aliens in Arizona more likely to be convicts. (Screenshot)

Undocumented (illegal) aliens are far more likely to commit crimes, as well as to commit serious crimes, than are U.S. citizens, a new study of 33 years of Arizona prison data reveals.

The study, “Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona,” by Crime Prevention Research Center President John R. Lott, also extrapolates that data to estimate how many additional crimes were committed nationally in 2016 by illegal immigrants, if Arizona is representative of the U.S. as a whole.

The study provides a uniquely accurate picture of illegal immigrant crime, its abstract notes, because it relies on comprehensive state records of every prisoner incarcerated over a 33-year period, delineated by citizenship status:

“Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. Unlike other studies, these data do not rely on self-reporting of criminal backgrounds.”

If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, the study finds that, in 2016, they would have been responsible for:

  • Over 1,000 more murders,
  • 5,200 rapes,
  • 8,900 robberies,
  • 25,300 aggravated assaults, and
  • 26,900 burglaries.

The study also concludes that Arizona’s undocumented immigrants are:

  • At least 142% more likely to be convicted of crime than other Arizonans.
  • Sentenced to 10.5% longer sentences than U.S. citizens, due to the greater severity of their crimes.
  • 163% more likely to be convicted of 1st degree murder than are U.S. citizens
  • 168% more likely to be convicted of 2nd degree murder,
  • 189.6% more likely to be convicted of manslaughter.
  • Undocumented immigrants are also much more likely to commit sexual offenses against minors, sexual assault, DUI, and armed robbery.
  • 45.4% more likely than other criminals to have been gang members, and
  • 133% more likely to receive sentencing enhancements for being classified as dangerous.

Young, DACA-age undocumented immigrants make up a four times higher percent of the prison population than their share of the overall state population, the study shows:

“Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants born after June 15, 1981 are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up a little over two percent of the Arizona population, they make up almost 8% of the prison population. These immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.”

These statistics may well even underestimate the crime statistics of undocumented aliens, the study cautions:

“Yet, there are several reasons that these numbers are likely to underestimate the share of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants.”

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