Criminal Immigrant Incarceration Rates in 2017: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin

8 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2019

See all articles by Michelangelo Landgrave

Michelangelo Landgrave

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science

Alex Nowrasteh

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Date Written: March 4, 2019

Abstract

Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has expanded interior immigration enforcement, made it easier for states and local governments to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants, and argued that building a wall is essential to reducing crime. These actions are largely based on the perception that illegal immigrants are a significant and disproportionate source of crime in the United States. This brief uses American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census to analyze incarcerated immigrants according to their citizenship and legal status in 2017. The data show that all immigrants — legal and illegal — are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population. By themselves, illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.

Keywords: crime, immigrants, incarceration

JEL Classification: J15, J6, J61, K37

Suggested Citation

Landgrave, Michelangelo and Nowrasteh, Alex, Criminal Immigrant Incarceration Rates in 2017: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin (March 4, 2019). Cato Institute Immigration Research and Policy Brief No. 11, (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3382542

Michelangelo Landgrave

University of California, Riverside (UCR) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Riverside, CA 92521
United States

Alex Nowrasteh (Contact Author)

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity ( email )

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States

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