The number one issue that Donald Trump has on his agenda is to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, and build a wall to keep them from entering the United States.
In Trump's own words, they are "rapists, drug dealers, and overall criminals." But the truth is, immigrants are not bringing in crime — the real criminals are not immigrants at all, but U.S.-born citizens, various statistics show — and they're actually putting an end to it.
Since the Immigration Act of 1965, about 59 million immigrants have come to the U.S., now accounting for 13.7% of the population, New York magazine found. In the past 30 years, crime has actually decreased considerably since its peak in 1991.
So who is actually committing crimes? 1.6% of immigrant males age 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born.
According to a study titled The Criminalization of immigration in the United States, immigrants are not only less likely to commit crimes, but less likely to be repeat offenders.
"Native-born are more likely to engage in either violent or nonviolent 'antisocial' behaviors; that immigrants are less likely than the native born to be repeat offenders among 'high risk' adolescents; and that immigrant youth who were students in U.S. middle and high schools in the mid-1990s and are now young adults have among the lowest delinquency rates of all young people."In another Sampson article published in 2015, he states that when you look at all the variants of crimes committed while taking into consideration the background of the criminals, "first-generation immigrants are 45% less likely to commit a violent act than third-generation immigrants, while the second generation is 22% less likely to commit violence than the third."
In other words, the more "Americanized" the generation, the more likely they'll engage in criminal behavior.
Studies also show that the crime rates decrease with the influx of immigrants.
A 2010 study found that crime rates drop in the cities or areas immigrants begin to set up their new life. The years between 1990 and 2000, in particular, experienced the largest decreases in homicide and robbery during an immigration influx during that time.
The study concluded that insights "between immigration and crime and suggest that growth in immigration may have been responsible for part of the precipitous crime drop of the 1990s."
Another study looked at the socioeconomic landscape of New York City, which became home to 2 million immigrants between 1975 and 2013. The study found that immigrants were "responsible for a $188 billion boost to home equity citywide, especially outside of Manhattan." And in 2008, according to the report, "immigrants accounted for about a third of the urban center’s gross product — a cool $215 billion."
So when Trump says that Mexico isn't "sending their brightest" or that they're taking jobs, he's wrong.
Mexico is actually sending their most hardworking.
Pew research shows that undocumented immigrants make up more than 5% of the workforce in the United States. In states where more Latinos settle, that number increases: Among the states, Nevada (10%), California (9%), Texas (9%) and New Jersey (8%) had the highest shares of unauthorized immigrants in their labor forces.
The Fiscal Times reports that the increase in immigrants is actually better for our economy and work force because it encourages more business startup and because "immigrants increase economic efficiency by raising the supply of low and high-skilled immigrants."
In many cases, the study concludes, immigrants' educational levels "complement, rather than displace, the skills of the native-born labor market."
How 'bout them, apples, Trump?