A majority of people consider crime rates to have a strong connection with the presence of immigrants in a community/society. It is a widespread perception that a lot of immigrants come to a country by illegal means and have no regard for the laws of the country they choose to migrate to. Immigration is considered a controversial subject as immigrants are blamed for disturbing the labor force composition for the natives of the destination countries. The second reason that makes immigration a debatable issue is the concern about the crime rates’ increase (Bresler 13). However, it is a false perception that immigrants commit a lot of crimes as most of them migrate to improve the quality of their lives (Bianchi, Buonanno & Pinotti 1318).
The three reasons that prove the mentioned thesis statement is that even though immigrants are involved in crimes, they are thought of as the main culprit in every bad situation due to the prevalent racial differentiation in the American society. The second reason that proves the thesis is that the number of native-born criminals is far higher than the immigrant criminal offenders. Thirdly, facts and figures provide evidence that with increased immigration, crime rates in United States of America have decreased significantly.
Immigrants mostly belong to minority groups. In USA, the number of whites who are arrested and incarcerated is much higher than the number of immigrants. However, it is asserted that immigrants are involved in committing crimes. However, this also shows the criminal justice system biasness towards the immigrants. As minorities represent a lot of Immigrants, the rates and incarceration rates of immigrants are greatly overwhelmed and influenced by the criminal justice system’s favoritism and prejudice. Thus, it is crystal clear that even if a lot of crimes are committed by immigrants; it is because there is a widespread prevalence of prejudicial attitudes in the entire American society. Although, some populations demonstrate higher crime rates due to the presence of immigrants, there is still no proof about that crime rates in any area are higher or lower because of the immigrants. It can therefore be said that it is a problem with the functionality of racial and prejudicial behaviors rather than a problem sprouted from immigration (Camarota & Vaughan).
Immigrants come to the destination countries to seek better job opportunities. However, these economic opportunities are mostly jeopardized by crime. In recent years, immigrants’ number has increased considerably but at the same time, there has been a drop in the crime rates. It has been acknowledged after studying facts and figures that native-born residents commit more crimes as compared to immigrants (Griswold). According to research, "U.S.-born adult men are incarcerated at a rate over two-and-a-half times greater than that of foreign-born men" (as qtd. in Anderson 195). A lot of immigrants come to US by illegal means. This is one of the reasons why they don’t involve themselves in criminal activities as any such involvement may reveal their illegal status in the country. Thus, it is very unlikely for immigrants to commit crimes as they do not want to risk deportation (Mooney, Knox & Schacht 281).
Immigrants are not involved in increasing crime rates in the American society. If truth be told, it is a popular myth and an anecdote by media that is now rooted in the minds of public of United States of America. Instead, “increased immigration deserves an important share of the credit for the dramatic crime drop in the United States” (McDonald 6). The United States has seen a fall in the crime rates with the increase in immigration, particularly since the 1990s (Loucky, Armstrong & Estrada 61).
On the other hand, the opponents of immigration believe that the crime rates in the United States of America have increased with the continuous arrival of immigrants. This theory is supported by the fact that the assimilation of the second-generation immigrants in the American society has given a rise to crime rate. A good number of sociologists and anthropologists have noted this fact and acknowledge that a majority of young second-generation immigrants get confused with the conflict in their own culture and American culture. As they are born in America, they start to behave like the Native-American peers. They are not only influenced by the collision of the two worlds but also because of their companionship with the negative factions in society thus showing delinquent behavior, substance abuse and aggression. On the other hand, the first-generation immigrants are not involved in criminal activities at a higher level when compared with the natives in the United States of America (Frost, Freilich & Clear 236).
The other reason why immigrants are believed to be involved in a lot of crimes is that that there is a loophole in the American Immigration policy that makes it easier for people to enter in the country by illegal means. The current USA policy regarding immigration allows countless unruly and anarchistic people to flood the American land. As a consequence of this weak policy, there is an explosion of gang membership in United States of America thereby increasing the rate of crimes in the country (Siegel 66). According to the FBI, more or less two million gang members are present in USA in the present times. Such members are frequently caught and deported as well but they return to USA along with more criminal affiliations ("Global Migration and Immigration").
The immigrants, both legal and illegal immigrants, are involved in committing crimes but their crime activities are far lower than the native criminal counterparts. This fact has also been acknowledged by Census Bureau data of the United States of America. Most of the immigrants who come to USA (whether legally or illegally) have the intention of working in order to improve the quality of their lives and of their families (Stout). When they manage to enter USA, their basic aim is to keep away from any sort of trouble as they do not want any economic opportunity to get jeopardized ("Unfounded Fear of Immigrant" A06). It has also been observed that “literacy and (perhaps surprisingly) urbanization and industrialization helped reduce violence in 19th-century America; as successive waves of new immigrants were absorbed into American society, their crime rates fell” (Walker 19).
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Walker, R. "Some Perspectives on Violent Crime." The Christian Science Monitor 1 Sept. 1993: 19. Questia. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. <http://www.questia.com/read/1P2-33389941/some-perspectives-on-violent-crime>.