Donald Trump’s racist nonsense about undocumented immigrants and crime has always been just that: racist nonsense. There’s new data to back that up. Using Pew Research data and FBI statistics spanning nearly a decade, the Marshall Project and The New York Times found no causal connection between undocumented immigrant communities and crime.
“The analysis found that crime went down at similar rates regardless of whether the undocumented population rose or fell,” the Marshall Project found. In fact, “areas with more unauthorized migration appeared to have larger drops in crime, although the difference was small and uncertain.” And there are reasons that undocumented communities are cautious, when even driving with a broken tail light could result in getting turned over to federal immigration officials for deportation. It’s happened before.
The Times reports that, “For undocumented immigrants, being arrested for any reason would mean facing eventual deportation—and for some a return to whatever danger or deprivation they’d sought to escape at home.” The analysis follows plenty of data already showing immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born Americans to commit crime, but its focus on undocumented immigrants is particularly important, considering the administration’s ongoing demonization of undocumented families.
It’s also notable that Trump shamelessly pushes these lies when two of his own advisers are sitting in prison right now; several others pleaded guilty to crimes uncovered by Robert Mueller’s investigation; administration officials are defying congressional subpoenas under White House orders; and more than 800 former federal prosecutors from Democratic and Republican administrations have signed a letter saying that they all believe that if Trump weren’t president, he would have faced “multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice” for acts outlined by Mueller.
Trump himself also reportedly told border agents to violate the law and deny asylum-seekers’ rights at the border, “telling the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection that if he went to jail for blocking those legally seeking asylum, Trump would grant him a pardon.” He’s serious, too. Remember that Trump’s very first pardon went to the racist former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, who had been found guilty of criminal contempt of court by a federal judge. But it’s undocumented immigrants that are the thugs and criminals here, right? Eye roll.