When it comes to facts, the open borders lobby is always willing to dismiss poor scholarship so long as the conclusion parrots their accepted narrative: migrants are better than U.S. citizens in every area and we need unchecked immigration.
The latest example of this is a brief “analysis” published for the New York Times. The author, Anna Flagg from the Marshall Project, used a broad dataset and made sweeping assumptions in order to conclude, unsurprisingly, that illegal aliens are less likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens. They declare this despite acknowledging that the data didn’t really show a trend either way.
The following is just a few of the more glaring issues with their methodology:
- Flagg assumes correlation implies causation. The study examines those cities where the illegal alien population is growing, according to Pew Research, then looks at whether certain overall crime rates are also increasing or decreasing. If a city has an increasing illegal alien population, but a decreasing crime rate, they assume those two facts are related. This conclusion is wildly assumptive, as it fails to factor in crime rate changes among legally present immigrants and U.S. citizens in those cities.
- It fails to consider additional important factors that typically influence crime rates, such as changes in unemployment rates, the increase/decrease of average annual earnings, or fluctuations in the educational attainment of residents. Without factoring in the variables that impact crime rate changes the most, you cannot make a conclusion about whether illegal aliens commit more or less crimes than U.S. citizens.
- The research shows that cities with increasing illegal alien populations tend to experience an increase in murders. Despite this “increase” being approximately the same rate as the crime “decrease” in other areas, the authors quickly dismiss this problem by suggestion the change was too small to reach any sure conclusion.
- This study references a thoroughly flawed and debunked report by the notoriously anti-borders Cato Institute to support these claims.
Curiously missing from this study is the readily available data on illegal alien incarceration, which strongly correlate with rates of criminality. Recently, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) found, by comparing data from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) with state and local jail records, that illegal aliens are more than three times as likely to be incarcerated as U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants.
The SCAAP program is the best data available on crimes committed by illegal aliens, so excluding that data from the study says a lot about the priorities of the Marshall Project and the New York Times.