It’s no secret that the USA has millions of illegal aliens within their borders. Almost every time the subject of undocumented workers is raised, someone is bound to point out some illegal immigration crime statistics to discuss the dark side of America’s illegal immigration problem.
The population of illegal immigrants in the US is around 11 million and of that, 57% are from Mexico while 24% are from other Latin American countries in Central America. The rest are from other, more distant parts of the world.
Of these millions of people, there are obviously bound to be some criminals among them. Although most are simply hard-working people out to make money in a more affluent country than their own, there are in fact those who commit petty and serious crimes.
Since these people are mostly undocumented by official government agencies, it is difficult to find reliable statistics on their activities. Crime is also very much underreported since illegal aliens are often reluctant or afraid to report crime to the authorities. In fact, many criminals will prey on the illegal immigrant population precisely because their victims are disinclined to report them to the authorities.
According to the Paw Hispanic Center website, in their investigation of immigration crime statistics and the federal law courts records, 40% of all sentenced federal offenders were Latinos. Of those, 72% were not U.S. citizens.
However, other studies have pointed out that cities with large illegal immigrant communities do not necessarily have more crimes committed in them than those without a large population of illegal immigrants.
What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that illegal immigrant communities are full of criminals. Most illegal aliens simply work hard and oftentimes succeed in giving their families a better life through the sweat of their brow.
Discussions of crime and illegal aliens often become highly passionate and politicized. Most recently, the murder of an Arizona rancher (Rob Krentz) last March 2010 allegedly by an illegal alien has ignited the controversy yet again.
Partly as a result of extensive media coverage surrounding the murder, Arizona passed the Arizona SB1070 bill to bring to an end anti-illegal immigration crime. The bill is today’s toughest state immigration law yet and its critics say that it will lead to a sharp increase in discrimination and harassment of illegal aliens. The law is particularly strict with requiring aliens to have documents with them at all times.
Time will tell whether the law will be effective in curbing illegal activities or lead to untoward harassment of aliens or some ethnic groups.
Currently, to justify various laws and policies regarding illegal immigration, the nation needs to examine the problem and gather reliable statistics. At the moment, the US has a dire need of illegal immigration crime statistics that can be properly interpreted so that lawmakers and policymakers can come to an understanding and perhaps even an agreement as to what exactly what needs to be done. Studies should be made and scientifically designed to shed light on the perennial problem of illegal aliens.