“Immigration reduces crime rates”

According to a study cited in Livescience (hat tip to human stupidity), immigration reduces crime rates:

Contrary to popular stereotypes, areas undergoing immigration are associated with lower violence, not spiraling crime, according to a new study.

Harvard University sociologist Robert Sampson examined crime and immigration in Chicago and around the United States to find the truth behind the popular perception that increasing immigration leads to crime.

Sampson’s study results, detailed in the winter issue of the American Sociological Association’s Contexts magazine, summarizes patterns from seven years’ worth of violent acts in Chicago committed by whites, blacks and Hispanics from 180 neighborhoods of varying levels of integration. He also analyzed recent data from police records and the U.S. Census for all communities in Chicago.

This article is typical in that the headline, and initial paragraphs, are designed to lead us to believe that Hispanic immigration is good for the United States.  But further down we find a clue as to what is really happening:

However, Sampson shows that concentrated immigration predicts lower rates of violence across communities in Chicago, with the relationship strongest in poor neighborhoods.

In other words, when Hispanics displace blacks, crime goes down.  This should be no surprise.  The article does not appear to link directly to the study (and it is riddled with advertising links) so I have not read the study itself, but it is possible that Sampson is confusing cause and effect here.  It might be that, if the immigrants are poor, they move to black neighborhoods – where their presence reduces crime.  If they’re well-off, they move to affluent neighborhoods – which tend to already be low-crime.  It would be interesting to see if Sampson can document before/after cases where the introduction of immigrants actually reduced crime in specific (white) areas.  Without racial data, it is hard to derive anything meaningful from this study.

As for the “Hispanic paradox”, it can be explained any number of way, but this “paradox” is only temporary.  Each generation of Hispanics becomes more criminal, and dysfunctional.  So it is hard to see how large-scale Hispanic immigration is good for the United States.

The article goes on:

Immigration is therefore not just a Hispanic issue; although little noticed, increasing foreign-born diversity among blacks (e.g., from the West Indies and Africa) is associated with lower crime even within segregated black communities.

Perhaps, if he replaced the word “even” with “especially”, the statement would be more accurate.  Any sort of immigration into the ghetto is going to decrease crime (at least short term) simply because ghetto blacks are the most crime-prone segment of the population.

One paragraph, toward the end of the article, is particularly puzzling:

Sampson’s arguments are supported at the national level as well. Significant immigration growth — including by illegal aliens — occurred in the mid-1990s, peaking at the end of the decade. During this time, the national homicide rate plunged. Crime dropped even in immigration hot spots, such as Los Angeles (where it dropped 45 percent overall), San Jose, Dallas and Phoenix.

Is he trying to say that it was immigration that brought about the decrease in homicide rates?  I wonder if there is any evidence for this claim.  It seems to me that this is a roundabout way of saying “The United States should be more like Mexico – because Mexico is a low-crime utopia”.  We are also left wondering if Sampson, himself, lives among Hispanic immigrants.  Given his high opinion of them, surely he has chosen to live in the barrio.  On second thought, I doubt it.

About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
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7 Responses to “Immigration reduces crime rates”

  1. Bay Area Guy says:

    Sampson’s arguments are supported at the national level as well. Significant immigration growth — including by illegal aliens — occurred in the mid-1990s, peaking at the end of the decade. During this time, the national homicide rate plunged. Crime dropped even in immigration hot spots, such as Los Angeles (where it dropped 45 percent overall), San Jose, Dallas and Phoenix.

    Ah yes, the classic correlation = causation fallacy.

  2. Unbelievable doublethink propaganda! I wish this “study” would receive heavy national media attention. That would serve to completely discredit any Harvard study in the future because NOBODY would believe this headline.

    “Sampson refers to this as the “Latino Paradox,” whereby Hispanic Americans do better on a range of social indicators — including propensity to violence — than one would expect, given their socioeconomic disadvantages.”

    Why is it a “paradox”? A paradox is something that defies logic, so here he is unconsciously admitting what everyone already knows: Generally speaking, immigrants, even Italians or Irish historically, arrive in this country and set up at best black market underground trading, at worst full on crime syndicates.

    I googled Latino Paradox and what came up was an entirely different popular definition. This is copied from Wikipedia:

    “The Hispanic Paradox, or Latino Paradox, also known as the “Epidemiologic Paradox,” refers to the epidemiological finding that Hispanic and Latino Americans tend to have health outcomes that paradoxically are comparable to, or in some cases better than, those of their U.S. white counterparts, even though Hispanics have lower average income and education. (Low socioeconomic status is almost universally associated with worse population health and higher death rates everywhere in the world.)”

    New headline for this story: Hispanics tend to be healthier and less violent than blacks.

  3. Georgia Resident says:

    “Sampson’s arguments are supported at the national level as well. Significant immigration growth — including by illegal aliens — occurred in the mid-1990s, peaking at the end of the decade. During this time, the national homicide rate plunged.”
    Because correlation equals causation, provided that causation supports the narrative the leftists have already decided. It’s not like the 90s saw a crackdown on crime or an increase in the proportion of the young black male population that was behind bars. Nope, it must have been all those good, law-abiding illegals-wait, what?

  4. Kiwiguy says:

    National crime rates plunged in the 90’s, but not because of immigration. Levitt identifies 4 main factors.

    http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUnderstandingWhyCrime2004.pdf

    In terms of the controversial argument that Roe v Wade was a factor, Levitt notes:

    “Fertility declines for black women are three times greater
    than for whites (12 percent compared with 4 percent). Given that
    homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than
    those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of
    abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions.
    Under the assumption that those black and white births eliminated
    by legalized abortion would have experienced the average
    criminal propensities of their respective races, then the predicted
    reduction in homicide is 8.9 percent.”

    http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/DonohueLevittTheImpactOfLegalized2001.pdf

  5. anthony says:

    This only shows that studies and reports on crime rates usually neglect some very important facts. According to the latest statistics the crime rate has been on the decline but nobody mentions the differences that still exist when it comes to particular types of crime. For example, Toronto is usually described as a safe city to live in and it is true that the the overall crime rate in the GTA has been on the decline in the last few years. However, there still are differences when it comes to particular types of break-ins (apartment break-ins and break-ins to houses). According to the statistics the number of house break-ins increased between 2008 and 2009 in our city which is a clear signal that the increase or decrease in the crime rate can hardly be generalized.

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