The author reviews 125 studies from many countries. He cites the well-known finding that immigrants overall have lower crime rates than native-borns. He fails to stress that this is not the case in Europe. Immigrants are more criminal there. He does acknowledge that not all immigrant groups are the same: some have high rates of criminality, some don't.
He does a decent job of explaining why immigrants sometimes have lower crime levels: 1) they are typically older than the most crime-prone age group (15-24); 2) they are sometimes better educated; 3) they are typically employed here; and 4) their foreignness makes them self-conscious. I would add that being in a foreign country makes a person more fearful, and fearful people try to stay out trouble. Immigrants are much more fearful of police than natives.
But then we get to the headline of this review. ALL research indicates that second- and third-generation immigrants are much MORE criminal that their parents and grandparents. This is a universal finding. The author chalks it up to social factors like not being able to mainstream, etc.
You should consider a genetic perspective to make sense of these research findings. You've got to be a risk-taker to leave your home country and start a new life in a new place, especially if the move is very difficult. You have to be the type of person who sees a distant goal, typically more money, and will do whatever the hell it takes to get it. So immigrants have more of these traits than the average compatriot they leave behind.
But the children of the immigrants for genetic reasons tend to turn out not much different than the typical person from the Old Country. And so it goes for future generations.
Americans need to take the long view. When a person, legal or illegal, moves to our country, we don't get an individual, we get a family line. That person might leave 100 descendants over the next few decades. What kind of population do you get?
For example, first-generation Mexican immigrants probably have been risk takers and goal-oriented, but many years and tens of millions of people later, you have a population that is comparatively poor, prone to gang formation and crime, allergic to education, and that votes Democrat. And neither the free market nor all the social programs in the world will change that brute reality.
Please include links to the research you cite!ReplyDelete
This is an extremely interesting site, but ... those of us who enjoy engaging in political combat on the web, need to be able to cite our sources.