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 — Congress had yet to even schedule a hearing on a measure granting statehood to the Dist [...]

A morning in evictions court: 123 cases, residents of 31 households on the verge of homelessness On [...]

Politics and ideology, not facts, drive claim that transgender women have an unfair athletic advanta [...]

Sea level rise is killing trees along the Atlantic coast, creating 'ghost forests' that ar [...]

Cooper’s modest spending proposal illustrates how far we’ve fallen Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new tw [...]

In his response to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s recent State of the State address, Senate Majority Lead [...]

The post GOP attempts to overrule Cooper’s pandemic powers appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Last week, Virginia became the first southern state to abolish the death penalty. At the signing cer [...]