Criminal Immigrant Incarceration Rates in 2017: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin
8 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2019
Date Written: March 4, 2019
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: Suggested Citation