“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald Trump, June 2015
Despite President Trump’s xenophobic speeches, the United States is actually getting safer. Since 1990, property crime and violent crime have decreased, while more unauthorized immigrants have entered the country. Although correlation doesn’t imply causation, the American Immigration Council analyzed U.S. Census data and concluded that foreign-born individuals are less likely to engage in criminal activity than American-born individuals.
This graph shows the increase in millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States and compares it to the decrease in millions of violent and property crimes in the United States within the same time frame. Again, while this correlation does not mean that immigrants cause there to be less crime, it supports conclusions by other researchers that immigration is either negatively associated with crime rates or has no impact.
Data for this graphic was collected from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports 1990-2014, the Department of Homeland Security’s Estimates of Unauthorized Immigrant Population, and Pew Research Center.