Crime and deported illegal immigrants

Illegal immigrants who return after deportation commit more crimes, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 8, 2008

Illegal immigrants who have been deported at least once from the United States are far more likely than other immigrants to repeatedly commit crimes, according to a study by the nonprofit Rand Corp.

The data indicated that illegal immigrants, overall, were not a greater crime risk, according to the study, which looked at all inmates released from Los Angeles County Jail for a month in 2002.

But among those who previously had been deported, reentered the U.S. and were arrested and released from jail, nearly 75% went on to commit another crime within a year. And 28% were arrested three or more times during the one-year period.

The recidivism rate was much lower for illegal immigrants who had not been previously deported, with 32% of those inmates being rearrested within a year and 7% arrested three or more times during that year.

Since the data were collected in 2002, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has overhauled screening for illegal immigrants and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has poured resources into border security. But researchers said the analysis still could have public policy implications for L.A. County and other counties around the nation.

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