Trump keeps claiming immigrants breed crime, and a new study shows why he's very wrong

Trump keeps claiming immigrants breed crime, and a new study shows why he's very wrong

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump took the escalators down to the lobby of Trump Tower and kicked off his presidential campaign by declaring that "when Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists and some, I assume, are good people.” But, Donald Trump is a liar. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact:

Immigrant populations in the United States have been growing fast for decades now. Crime in the same period, however, has moved in the opposite direction, with the national rate of violent crime today well below what it was in 1980.

In “one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies of the local immigrant-crime relationship,” researchers from four universities and the Marshall Project compared immigration and crime data from 200 areas—including Trump’s home turf of New York City—and found “that crime fell more often than it rose even as immigrant populations grew almost across the board.” Overall, “the 10 places with the largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980.”

And yet, the researchers note, “as of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse.” In California, where Trump supporters cheered as Orange County signed onto a publicity stunt of a lawsuit against the state from the Trump administration over pro-immigrant legislation, violent crime decreased by more than half as the immigrant population more than doubled since 1980. So why do Trump and his allies keep pushing their lie? Because that’s all they have.