This research tries to determine whether there is a link between immigration and crime, primarily, since 1980. Southern, southeastern and southwestern borders are found to be easy gateways for the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Hispanic and Latino immigrants make the largest proportion of foreigners in southern border areas.
Some sources (Martinez Jr & Stowell, 2012) believe that borders with Mexico nearer to coastal areas have been largely hit by burglary and homicide committed by foreigners, implicating Hispanic involvement. Another source (Harris & Feldmeyer, 2013) finds a decrease in violence involving Latinos immigrants. However, it is admitted that there is lack of adequate record to establish it as a fact. It labels black population as the one responsible for most offenses in central and Mid-Atlantic states. Another (Butcher & Piehl, 1998) finding contradicts the previous suspicion of foreign involvement by presenting the fact that local-born youth is more likely to be involved in offense than non-local ones. Illiteracy and poverty have been labeled as the chief reason for youth crime.
One source (Richardson & Resendiz, 2006) maintains that drug trafficking, property apprehension, and smuggling have been increased significantly in the past two decades. The trend is most noticeable in Austin, San Antonio, and surrounding areas and usually committed by non-white males. Finally, an example of Austin is presented (Stansfield, Akins, Rumbaut, & Hammer, 2013) as a precedent to establish the assumption that non-native people have been indulged in violent crimes. To prove this hypothesis, author reiterates that crime rate had outstandingly increased since late 1980s the period when the number of immigrant influx was highest.
A critical analysis of the research from five sources finds few gaps, especially the ones defending the non-local population. The assumptions have been stated and conclusions are drawn without appropriate foundation. Jumping over to conclusions have resulted in raising the suspicion among the public that officials might have been victimizing the non-native youth. As mentioned in one of the papers, there is insufficient material to prove general innocence foreigners from across the southern borders. Despite insufficient data, a counter-narrative can be established by comparing Texas, Florida and New Mexico with northern and central states. In these states, the crime rate has declined with homicide declining the most which are evident of the fact that consistent inclination in crime rate in Texas must be one of the consequences of bulged Latin and Hispanic population. It has become one of the causes of greatest concern for native residents.
Latinos tend to migrate toward non-traditional areas despite having lower labor stock, apparently because traditional markets are less welcoming to new immigrants. Latinos residing in non-traditional areas have been studied to be non-violent since they lack assisting network. Conversely, one reason for their involvement might be competition with the black population for low-skill labor. Another reason for choosing non-traditional markets could be avoidance of border patrol. Therefore, the immigrants living in traditional areas tend to be overly-cautious and follow social conventions well.
The nature of crime varies in different regions. Drug trafficking in Texas is undoubtedly the most at the national level, but a number of violent crimes have remained lower than other states. There might be erroneous official data with the total number of property crimes because the incidents might be underreported. Underreporting might be the consequence of uninsured property or a general fears of involving the police. Still, suspects can be traced because findings have shown that criminals tend to carry a crime in the vicinity of their residence.
Joblessness is a problem, but surveys show that Hispanic population is more likely to get jobs which are considered inferior to native people. Almost every Hispanic immigrant gets a job. Thus joblessness does not directly relate to crime surge. The city of Austin has seen a drastic increase in population between 1990 and 2000, but the crime rate was substantially high even before this period too. Latino immigrants have been murdered and robbed too. Valid statistics are evident of the fact that local youth inspired by miscreant immigrants’ gains through unethical means have shown a tendency to draw toward crime.
Thus, it all comes down to one the perception that less-educated or completely unemployed Hispanic and Latino population must be the cause of inclination, especially in non-traditional areas. A large proportion of immigrants have left the country too after the recession because most of the jobs in companies involving Hispanics had to encounter huge downsizing. Therefore, unemployment cannot be termed as the sole cause of the strong relationship between crime and immigration.
The research from the records and the recent surveys shows that crime in all over the state has increased considerably. The lack of law enforcement officials has been causing serious problems as the number of immigrants, and the crime rate continues to increase with the passage of time. Illiteracy and joblessness have been admittedly termed as the chief causes for growth in violence in the 1990s. There has been a strong relationship seen between increasing immigration and growing crime rate. The immigrant, predominantly, from Hispanic and Latin origin have been posited as the ones most responsible for surging number of criminals. This is established by the fact that Texas, that borders with Mexico and receives a substantial amount of Latin and Hispanic individual, has seen the most violations. While most of the findings have focused on Hispanic and Latin male youth, few findings have witnessed black individuals as the most violent people.
Butcher, K. F., & Piehl, A. M. (1998). Cross-city evidence on the relationship between immigration and crime. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 457–493.
Harris, C. T., & Feldmeyer, B. (2013). Latino immigration and White, Black, and Latino violent crime: A comparison of traditional and non-traditional immigrant destinations. Social Science Research, 42(1), 202–216.
Martinez Jr, R., & Stowell, J. I. (2012). Extending immigration and crime studies: national implications and local settings. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 641(1), 174–191.
Richardson, C., & Resendiz, R. (2006). On the edge of the law: Culture, labor, and deviance on the south Texas border. University of Texas Press.
Stansfield, R., Akins, S., Rumbaut, R. G., & Hammer, R. B. (2013). Assessing the effects of recent immigration on serious property crime in Austin, Texas. Sociological Perspectives, 56(4), 647–672.