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Letter to the Editor: There's no evidence to link immigrants to more crime

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

A report from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 determined that non-citizens (immigrants) comprised about 5 percent of the prison populations in state and federal prisons. The percentage of non-citizens (immigrants) in the U.S. population as a whole is 7 percent, so immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes than the rest of the population. This is a proven fact in most states, except California, Nevada and Oregon, which did not release information about immigrants to the study.

The study also did not include information about prisoners in local jails. When you look at the crime reports in the Telegram, it doesn’t say anyone is an illegal alien or an immigrant, and the mug shots you see in the paper look like U.S. citizens, not illegal aliens or immigrants. Why don’t we ask Sherriff Stone how many non-citizens are in the Nash County jail?

Studies quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post and National Review point to the fact that it has never been proven that immigrants commit more crimes than their representative share of the population. Even the conservative National Review reported that "Illegal immigrants might have unusually high crime rates or they might not – the data are really not clear."

There have been some tragic cases of illegal aliens committing horrendous crimes, but we shouldn’t paint a broad brush and say immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. Most people in this country have ancestors who were immigrants.

JUDITH MESKO

Rocky Mount

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