New research confirms: Tough immigration enforcement policies do not lower crime rates

New research released by professors at the University of California at Davis finds once again that there is no relationship between deportation and the level of crime in communities. It also debunks the myth that programs of cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities like Secure Communities and 287(g) agreements make communities safer, confirming the stance of sheriffs across North Carolina who have renounced such programs.

The research, looking at thousands of local communities across the country and using unique data on deportation and crime rates, finds that:

  • Places that deported the most appeared no safer than those that deported the fewest.
  • Aggressive enforcement and deportation does not lead to faster resolution of criminal cases.
  • Deportation is not an effective way to address crime.

For years, researchers have documented the lack of evidence supporting claims that more aggressive enforcement of federal immigration law contributes to public safety goals. As the New York Times reporters write:

“Research demonstrates that immigrants overall and undocumented immigrants in particular are less likely to be arrested than the native-born population; that both are less likely to be incarcerated; and that immigration does not raise an area’s local crime rates (neither does undocumented immigration).”

Our own research in North Carolina on the costs of aggressive enforcement by local governments of federal immigration law shows a high cost to all taxpayers. The cumulative cost to North Carolina taxpayers over the past decade of cooperation with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement was at least $81.7 million. These are dollars that could have been redirected to other public safety strategies and the promotion of opportunities for communities to thrive such as investments in youth development programs, and public education.

Alexandra Forter Sirota is the Director of the Budget and Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center.

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

WASHINGTON — Amid frustrations at the slow pace of the national COVID-19 vaccination effort, the Bid [...]

Record gasoline spill in Huntersville was Colonial Pipeline's 32nd accident in N.C. since 2000 [...]

Melanie Flowers had a lot to do this week, and a protest was yet another item on her list. The stude [...]

While former President Trump was ending his term by granting last-minute clemency to aides and those [...]

Why several things must happen before our nation can "move on" As you've probably alr [...]

The post The Para-LIE-mpain. appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

COVID taught us a lot about living in crisis mode. The biggest lesson: address crises early enough t [...]

As schools begin spring semester classes, local leaders in North Carolina face the weighty decision [...]