Getting Facts Straight on Illegal Alien Crime

ice_arrest_eldoradoKimberly Mehlman-Orozco, writing in Washington’s The Hill newspaper on October 10 about the issue of deporting illegal aliens, claimed, “In fact, there is a scholarly consensus, which has concluded for years that these foreign nationals [referring to illegal aliens], despite their violation of civil immigration law, commit proportionally fewer criminal offenses than U.S. citizens.” She is identified as having a Ph.D. in criminology, law and society so she should know, right?

Wrong. There is a scholarly consensus that immigrants in general – legal and illegal –commit fewer criminal offenses than U.S. citizens, but that is only because the legally admitted immigrants have a much lower crime incidence than the native-born population and outnumber the illegal aliens by three to one. That statistic based on the combined foreign-born population, disguises the incidence of criminality by illegal aliens alone.

My study of the crime incidence among illegal aliens (here found that illegal aliens were incarcerated in state and local prisons and jails at a 50 percent higher rate than for a comparable native-born population. They also are a large majority of federal prisoners. That study was based on data reported by state and local authorities to the federal government when seeking federal compensation in the State Criminal Assistance Program.

The takeaway is that even the supposedly expert commentators may be wrong.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    Frank Mitchell on

    Illegal aliens are over TEN TIMES more likely to commit crimes compared to their percentage of the US population according to Official US Government Data. (Link Attached).

    According to U.S. Government Sentencing Commission data, Illegal Aliens (3.4% of the US population) committed 36.6% of the listed crimes. Are you going to deny those facts (from a government source)? So much for illegal alien crime being a “Myth”.
    Table 9 (Citizenship of Offenders in Each Primary Offense Category for Fiscal 2015

    The acceptable number of crimes committed by migrants that are in the US illegally (shouldn’t be here) is ZERO! Why should we import criminals? We have enough of our own.

  2. avatar

    well all i got a say if you dont like immigrants working in america get your lazy butt out there and do the jobs there doing for minimum wage… yea right i didnt think so .

    • avatar

      You make a great case for Right to Work laws for American Citizens. Big Unions keep pushing people FORCED by law to join them in pro-union states to keep demanding higher and higher wages. There comes a point at which companies cannot longer pay dividends to the people who invest in them. People like my Filipina legal naturalized citizen of the U. S..has a small Mutual account through her non-union company. She makes small investments every payday and when the reports come out, she looks to see which companies are paying dividends and which are not. Those that are not, she calls the broker handling the account and transfers to a company that does pay reasonable dividends.

      So what must the CEO of a company that is losing money and not able to pay dividends do? Either close and put a lot of people on unemployment or shut down the manufacturing pland and send the orders for goods to places like Bangladesh where labor is dirt cheap. At east an office and sales staff still have jobs and the products MUST meed U. S. specifications.

      Since Union workers are always demanding higher wages and fringe benefits, non-union workers EXPECT to get paid nearly as much and yes, they are not likely to go for minimum sage jobs. but if employers NEED workers and can’t get them for minimum wage, and illegals are not allowed in, then the employers must raise wags to at least a level that U. S, workers WILL Work. While there are lazy people that want to rely on welfare, unemployment and if old enough, Social Security, most take pride in having a job.

    • avatar
      Not Politically Correct on

      Why should I work for minimum wage when I currently make 70K a year??? You really should check your grammar before posting, and anyone here illegally is welcome to take the first bus/plane/ship home, because you are not wanted here.

  3. avatar

    I simply do not believe this person. PHD or not, I have seen dozens of aricles staing the exact opposite of Illegal Alien crime. I would also assume she is on Barry’s team to prove Global Warming. What absolute BS!!! Ha! Ha!

  4. avatar
    Shirley Riggs Olivas on

    Ed Kennedy sneaked a bill ( 65) in after the civil rights bill in 64 that started encouraging immigrant to come and get gov benifits. He increased oats too. He spent his career on increasing immigration. We should have been concentrating o closing the gap between blacks and whites with the money we spent on immigrants! Welfare to single mothers encouraged the break down of the family, replacing fathers in the home!

    • avatar

      Which is why blacks are letting themselves be played for suckers. The Democrats take them for granted while the party panders to Latinos. If there was no mass immigration it would raise wages for all workers particularly low skilled.

      Ted also deliberately lied back in 1965. He dismissed the critics who said his immigration bill “would bring a million immigrants to our cities” annually. They were right. His treatment of women was not exactly the best. He left a woman to drown in the back of a car while he took off for a few hours to sober up.

  5. avatar
    Laurie Dipietro on

    Watch any of these shows on inside prisons and the guards even tell you there’s an explosion oh illegal immigrants. I don’t think these sanctuary cities report the crimes. Having recently moved to California, in the Bay Area of SAN Francisco, I am dumbfounded by the amount of crime here and after 2 years I have not heard any news agency mention a crime committed by an illegal with the exception of when Kate Steinle was killed. This is outrageous.

  6. avatar

    Then why is catch and release used if the numbers are so low? And why are there sanctuary cities needed if the crime is do low.

  7. avatar

    If illegals are working, which most are, there is only one of three choices. They are working under the table, they stole someone else’s SS number, or they made one up. All of which could bring an American time in jail. Illegals get rewarded with citizenship for it.