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The study undermines the sanctuary cities;  fear of deportation does not prevent reporting of crimes


Immigrants report crimes at the same rate as native Americans, says new report that contradicts claims by sanctuary cities that cooperation with immigration authorities creates a “chilling effect”, making migrants less likely to work with the local police on their investigations.

The Center for Immigration Studies used data on criminal victimization to examine how often crimes were reported by Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics, and more specifically for the immigration context, how often the crimes were reported. were reported by citizens and non-citizens.

Analysts said they found a higher reporting rate among immigrants, compared to Americans born in the country. For example, Hispanic immigrants, citizens and non-citizens, reported 65% of serious violent crimes from 2017 to 2019, compared to just 49% of native-born people.

And the data showed that fear of the police or deportation was not a major obstacle, with around 1% of immigrant victims saying they feared being harassed by authorities or being advised. not to tell the police.

It also didn’t matter whether immigrants lived in the types of communities most likely to be sanctuaries or not, according to the CIS study. The denunciation of the crimes was the same no matter what.

“Immigrants are generally quick to report crime – all types of crime, across the country – more than anyone,” said Jessica Vaughan, lead author of the study. “Not only that, among those who don’t report crimes, they almost never say it was because they feared police trouble, or implied they feared deportation.”

The study strikes at the heart of the most convincing defense of sanctuary policies, which protect illegal immigrants from being reported or turned over to federal deportation authorities.

While some immigrant activists defend sanctuary policies in terms of protecting illegal immigrants, most sanctuary cities justify their rules as a public safety measure, saying they fear that if they work with federal authorities, immigrants reduce the reporting of crimes.

In early 2017, for example, Los Angeles reported a significant drop in reports of Hispanic crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence in the first two months of the Trump administration, which city officials attributed to people afraid of eviction.

The police chief and the city mayor highlighted the figures at a press conference.

“While there is no direct evidence that the drop is linked to concerns within the Hispanic community over immigration, the department believes deportation fears may prevent Hispanic members of the community from reporting when they are victimized, ”the Los Angeles Police Department said.

But The Washington Times looked at a larger set of Los Angeles data extending beyond the first two months and found the city’s claims were unconfirmed.

Indeed, Hispanic crime reports for assault aggravated by an intimate partner accounted for almost exactly the same share of total reports from 2016, under President Obama, to 2017, under President Trump, while reports of rape have in made slightly increased.

California then enacted a series of statewide sanctuary policies that went into effect in 2018, which the Los Angeles whistleblower theory said should have resulted in an increase in the number of whistleblowers. Hispanic crimes. Reports of rape and simple assaults between domestic partners have increased slightly, but reports of aggravated assaults have decreased.

The criminal victimization data used by the CIS for the new analysis is a survey conducted by the Census Bureau on behalf of the Department of Justice. Beginning in 2017, the survey included questions on citizenship and birth abroad, providing a new window into trends among immigrants.

Among the results, 62% of serious crimes against immigrants – legally and illegally present – were reported to the police, compared to 53% for the native-born population. For violent crime, immigrants reported 61%, compared to 49% for natives.

The CIS analysis used Hispanic non-citizens as a rough proxy for illegal immigrants and found that even among this population there was no major difference in ratios compared to native-born Americans.

“We find no evidence in NCVS data to support the ‘chilling effect’ theory that immigrants are more reluctant to report crimes, in general, or in parts of the country where local authorities regularly cooperate with the ICE, like the South, ”the authors concluded.

The CIS analysis contradicts other studies, such as an article published in January in the American Sociological Review which examined data from 1980 to 2004 and concluded that cooperation with federal authorities had effectively suppressed reporting of crimes.

“We find that Latinos are more likely to report violent crime victimization to law enforcement after
sanctuary policies have been adopted in their metropolitan areas of residence, ”the study concluded.

Another study published in January used the same victimization data as the CIS and found that Hispanic crime reports appeared to decline in 2017, when the Trump administration took over.

But CIS said the data set is not good enough to make judgments based on a single change from year to year, and furthermore, Hispanics were still just as likely to report crimes than non-Hispanics in 2017.

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