Examining the Preconception of Illegal Immigration and Crime

Running Head: RESEARCH PAPER 1

Running Head: RESEARCH PAPER 4

Crime Theory: Examining the Preconception of Illegal Immigration and Crime

Name

SSGS300

Crime Theory: Examining the Preconception of Illegal Immigration and Crime

Abstract

The paper examines the preconceptions or stereotypes regarding illegal immigration and crime in the US. In developing the paper, an extensive review of the literature regarding the topic of illegal immigration and its impacts on crime was carried out. To ensure that the data collected was not only reliable but also accurate and valid, a criterion was developed to guide the selection of studies for use in the study. The criterion required that all selected studies be peer-reviewed and published or produced recently to ensure that the information was up to date. While the study found an association between illegal immigration and crime, there was insufficient evidence to indicate that illegal immigration increases crime rates.

Introduction

The increase in illegal immigration has always been accompanied by alarms, pervasive stereotypes, and threat perceptions especially in periods of economic downturns and political competitions. The preconceptions that illegal immigration and immigrants are responsible for increased crime rates in public opinion in the US. Further such preconceptions and stereotypes are not only propagated but also sustained by popular myths and the media through television series, movies and repeated coverage of singular events that project an image that is not only enduring but also that of immigrant communities that have been pervaded by criminal elements.

Subsequently, the question of whether illegal immigration is responsible for increased crime in the US constitutes a key component in the debate on immigration policy. As a result, the topic of illegal immigration and its association to crime has garnered increased research attention over the years. Despite this, the research regarding the topic remains inconclusive making this paper not only significant but also relevant.

Hypothesis

Based on the foregoing introductory information, the purpose of this paper is to examine the preconceptions of illegal immigration and crime. Subsequently, the paper seeks to explore the following hypothesis.

H0: Illegal immigration has no impact on crime rates in the US.

Ha: Illegal immigration increases the crime rates in the US

Literature review

The association between immigration and crime has generated increased debate over the years with preconceptions that immigration is responsible for increased crime rates in the US. Immigration has been considered as an underlying factor in the rise of some criminal institutions such as mafia in the US (Orrenius & Coronado, 2017).. For instance, the characterization of the Mexico-US border as rife with crime, lawless and full of illicit activities has existed for many years same as the debate that immigration increases crime and many other social ills. Further charges that immigrants and especially illegal immigrants are a danger to public security and safety have increased in recent years and played a huge role in the 2016 presidential elections.

The extent to which preconceptions and stereotypes regarding illegal immigration and its impacts on the crime rates in the Us are not only apparent but has permeated the American society for many years. According to Light & Miller, (2018), immigration opponents believe that immigrants and especially illegal immigrants have a high likelihood of committing crimes when compared to American natives hence posing a serious threat to the safety of the public. Despite this, there exists little research evidence to support their claims an indication that the illegal immigrants may not have a higher propensity of committing crimes.

Moreover, there is evidence in research that overwhelmingly indicates that illegal immigrants and other authorized immigrants have a lower probability of committing crimes than American natives. For instance, Bersani & Piquero, (2017) in their study “Examining Systematic Crime Reporting Bias Across Three Immigrant Generations: Prevalence, Trends, and Divergence in Self-Reported and Official Reported Arrests” found that American natives were more likely to commit property and violent crimes when compared to immigrants. This is despite there being bias in the reporting of crimes in the country.

Further, the literature review indicated that regions with American natives were more prone to crime when compared to the regions primarily occupied by immigrants (O’Brien, B., Collingwood & El-Khatib, (2019). This in itself a clear indication that immigration does not lead to an increase in crime rates in the country. Moreover, according to Johnson, (2015) legalization programs for illegal immigrants while at times costly led to a reduction in crime rates which is consistent with the findings from the other studies reviewed in the development of this paper.

For example, large scale legalization for immigrants, a program that has yet to be considered had a higher potential of reducing crime among immigrants and hence improving public security and safety. On the other hand, increased enforcements and restrictions at the border, which is intended to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the country were found to have mixed effects about the crime rates (Johnson, 2015).

According to the literature review, immigration policies such as the “Build the wall” by President Donald Trump, increased border reinforcements, the crackdown on the sanctuary cities, and the reinstatement of secure communities have been developed and implemented based on the belief that immigrants are responsible for increased crimes and the need to decrease illegal immigration to bolster public safety (O’Brien, B., Collingwood & El-Khatib, (2019). However, there is evidence in research that some of the policies such as the crackdown on sanctuary cities disenfranchise immigrants economically and may increase the crime rates.

Research design

The study was conducted through a qualitative research design that involved an extensive literature review on the topic of the preconceptions of illegal immigration and its association with crime in the US. To ensure that the data collected for use in developing the study was valid accurate, relevant and reliable, a criterion that required that all studies selected for the study be peer-reviewed was adopted. Moreover, all studies were supposed to have been published recently to ensure that the information collected during the literature review was up to date. Based on the criteria, five studies were selected for review and data collection.

Conclusion

As observed in this discussion, preconceptions and stereotypes regarding illegal immigration and its association to crime in the US are not only apparent but have also permeated the society and form a major basis upon which immigration policies such as apprehension and deportation of illegal immigrants are designed and developed. However, given that evidence from research does not indicate that illegal immigration increases crime rates in the country, there is a need to ensure that policies regarding immigration are developed in consideration of careful research on whether immigration increases the crime rates in the US.

References

Bersani, B. E., & Piquero, A. R. (2017). Examining Systematic Crime Reporting Bias Across Three Immigrant Generations: Prevalence, Trends, and Divergence in Self-Reported and Official Reported Arrests. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 33(4), 835–857. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10940-016-9314-9

Johnson, K. (2015). A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Federal Prosecution of Immigration Crimes. Denver University Law Review, 92(4), 863–.

Light, M., & Miller, T. (2018). Does Undocumented Immigration Increase Violent Crime?: Undocumented Immigration and Violent Crime. Criminology, 56(2), 370–401. https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-9125.12175

O’Brien, B., Collingwood, L., & El-Khatib, S. (2019). The Politics of Refuge: Sanctuary Cities, Crime, and Undocumented Immigration. Urban Affairs Review, 55(1), 3–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078087417704974

Orrenius, P. M., & Coronado, R. (2017). The effect of illegal immigration and border enforcement on crime rates along the US-Mexico border.

Feedback

For this assignment, the abstract is the summary of a research proposal.

You cannot state a hypothesis before first formulating a research question.

You cannot have a conclusion presenting research results because you are writing a research proposal (the research has not been conducted yet). Don’t forget to include a separate section dedicated to the methodology.

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