The New York Times (NYT) on January 13 carried an article entitled “Research Doesn’t Back a Link Between Migrants and Crime in U.S.” The writer based his slanted claim on research by immigration boosters Ruben Rumbaut, a UC-Irvine sociology professor, and Walter Ewing of the American Immigration Council. Their finding, cited in the NYT article was, “most immigrants are law-abiding.”

That is not a new finding – the authors published it in 2007, so it certainly is not news. But it tends to validate the growing perception that the NYT has gone all in with their defense of non-enforcement of the current immigration law and efforts to increase immigration.

The NYT article, like the 2007 finding is virtually meaningless as well as deceptive. It is meaningless for two reasons:

  • Legally admitted immigrants are screened to prevent the arrival of those with criminal histories and those who might be tempted to resort to crime because of poverty.
  • Immigrants who are convicted of felonies are generally deported. Thus, there is a major deterrent to committing a crime, and those who are deported are removed from possible recidivism.

It is deceptive because nowhere in the article is there any mention of illegal aliens or the rate of criminal activity among them. Illegal aliens are not prevented entry as a result of a criminal history, and many are apprehended in the process of criminal activity such as smuggling narcotics. The gangs of young aliens in urban areas are often comprised of illegal aliens.

Because the bulk of immigrants in the country entered legally, even if crime data on the illegal aliens is combined with crime data on the legal immigrants, the crime rate is less than for the general public. But FAIR’s 2007 study on crime data for illegal aliens demonstrates the significantly higher crime rate among this population that the NYT wants us to believe are simply coming for a job.

The moral is that our immigration policy should be focused on assuring that only law-abiding immigrants – those who come legally – are allowed to enter, and that those who break the law to enter or stay are swiftly removed before they can break any other law.