If you’re interested in the link between immigration and crime, you may assume from popular news sources that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. In reality, the opposite is true. Multiple studies have found that immigrants tend to commit fewer crimes than people who are born in the United States. 

In some cases, people have attempted to counter this claim by pointing out the arrest numbers for immigrants. However, doing that doesn’t change the fact that far more native-born Americans committed crimes. Yes, some immigrants did as well, but the overall trend is the same. 

One expert put it like this: “Imagine I were to claim that women are less violent than men.” He then pointed out that 78,000 women faced accusations of committing violent crimes in 2015 and got arrested for doing so. Almost 1,000 of those arrests focused on accusations of homicide. He didn’t deny that, but he said that higher arrest numbers for men proved his point. Just stating the statistics for women “in no way contradict[ed]” the fact that women were less violent. 

It’s the same thing with immigration and crime. When people state statistics about immigrant arrest numbers, that doesn’t mean immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. It just backs up the fact that they do it less often. No one claims that immigrants don’t commit crimes, just as no one claims that native-born Americans don’t commit crimes. Both groups do, and native-born Americans do it more often. 

If you are an immigrant who has been accused of a crime, you have a lot at stake and it is very important for you to understand your legal options.