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Is Immigration a Cause of Crime or is the Fear Media Based - Research Paper Example

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(Full names) (Professor) Is Immigration a Cause of Crime or is the Fear Media Based Those persons in the United States who equate undocumented immigrants with an increase in crime have difficulty explaining why. For instance, ElPaso (Texas) is considered by criminologists to be the safest city in the U.S.  Jack Levin, a research criminologist at Northeastern University, has determined that El Paso, a border town, is safe for the very reason that it divides Texas from Mexico (Costantini) .In fact, according to Levin, the fact that the cities with the highest number of immigrants have the lowest crime levels is enough proof that the idea that immigration is a caus…
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Is Immigration a Cause of Crime or is the Fear Media Based
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Download file to see previous pages Those who support the idea that immigration is a cause of crime suggest that illegal immigrants are more likely to cause an increase in crime since the mere fact that they are in the country illegally suggests that have no respect for law and order. However, States (such as Arizona), which claim to be responding to this assumption by enforcing strict immigration laws and policies are often just responding to fear of immigrants that is spread by the media. In fact, contrary to the perception that illegal immigrants are a cause of crime, some studies have shown that it is extreme immigration policies and laws that are more likely to lead to an increase in crime (Fisher). This is because such laws cause fear and resentment among immigrants and this leads to lack of co-operation between immigrants and law enforcement officers. Because of this, law enforcement officers are less likely to detect crime and protect the victims of crime who live within immigrant communities since such victims do not come forward. Laws like Arizona’s are therefore counterproductive (Fisher). According to studies that have been conducted by various sociologists, people are generally afraid of the things/people that they do not understand. Since immigrants are foreigners, it is easy for people to believe most of the information found in the media which suggests that the presence immigrants is a major cause of crime. However, such information is often not based on any solid facts or proper research of crime patterns in various regions. Actually, some sociologists even suggest that the minimal research that has been conducted on this matter has proven that contrary to popular belief, native citizens are more likely to commit crimes than immigrants (McDonald). Studies of the common immigration patterns show that a large percentage of the people who migrate to the US (either legally or illegally) are young men who in most cases have little or no education. Because of this, such immigrants are easily stereotyped as being likely to commit crimes since their lack of formal education means they are not likely to get jobs (Rumbaut). Based on this, the media creates the perception that immigrants cause crime. This incorrect perception causes fear and ignorance among policy makers and the public. As such, it is accurate to say that immigration does not cause crime and any claims to the contrary are often not based on reason. Since stereotypes are created out fear, they are rarely based on facts and hence those who claim that immigration causes crime based on stereotypes are mistaken. Over the past decade, the number of Hispanics who have been imprisoned has risen substantially. Some media organizations have wrongly concluded that this means that immigrants cause crime and this is the message they spread to their audience/readers. Contrary to this viewpoint, most of the convicted Hispanics are in most cases native born and are not immigrants. Therefore, the perception by the public that immigrants cause crime is at best a myth. As such, when policy makers respond ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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