2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Immigration and Crime: The United States, Europe, and Underlying Factors
Kevin P. Sack
Dr. Bonnie Mitchell, Faculty Mentor

Popular beliefs about immigration and crime in twentieth century writings have portrayed immigration as negatively impacting crime rates, disrupting social order and leading to problems of joblessness, drugs, and violence. To test how immigration affects crime, this study utilizes comparative analyses of case studies from the United States and five European countries to better define how immigration influences crime rates and the role immigrants play in crimes (criminals, victims). Observations about patterns and overall trends find that in Europe, there are higher crime rates observed among immigrants than native-born citizens, but in the United States, the opposite is true: immigrants to the U.S. may actually be at a lower risk of criminality. Also, European countries see an increase in crime rates in second generation immigrants. Factors such as race and ethnicity, self-perception, immigrant demographics, discrimination, and globalization are cited as possibly influencing immigrants potential involvement in crime.

Keywords: immigration, crime, immigrants, United States, Europe, sociology, criminology

Topic(s):Sociology
Justice Systems

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 401-2
Location: MG 2001
Time: 2:45

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