ICE’s Deportation Efforts Aren’t Making Communities Safer, Study Says

Razor wire is seen on the Metropolitan Detention Center prison
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A new study from the Institute of Labor Economics shines doubt on the effectiveness of Donald Trump’s push to deport immigrants to increase the safety of America. According to the study, deporting undocumented immigrants is not effective at reducing crime rates. Interestingly, the process can actually increase the incidence of certain crimes, Newsweek reports.

The study suggests that 45 percent of immigrants deported under Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program, which Barack Obama oversaw during his first term as president, either had minor prior convictions or not at all. This finding conflicts with the goals of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“ICE remains committed to directing its enforcement resources to those aliens posing the greatest risk to the safety and security of the United States,” the agency claimed in the recent enforcement report. “By far, the largest percentage of aliens arrested by ICE are convicted criminals.”

Although the study claims that deporting criminal immigrants would decrease crimes, it suggests that the ICE is not effective at doing so. Under Obama’s administration, there was no significant decrease in crime rates due to deportation, and the number of deportees with criminal records has declined under Trump’s administration.

In addition, the study found a statistically significant correlation between increased deportations and property crimes. The study concluded that there is “not empirical support” for the claims that deporting immigrants is effectively decreasing crime and making communities safer.

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The ICE’s approach to deportation has come under fire since Trump announced the agency would be cracking down on the purported immigration problem. Laura Williamson, an organizer with Sanctuary DMV, claims that — in the face of immigrants learning their rights and receiving help from their community — the ICE has turned its focus to deception and surveillance in what she claims is an approach that bends the commonly accepted “moral standards of transparency and respect.”

As for the effect of immigration on the U.S. economy, a paper from the Journal of Development Economics, which was posted by Science Direct, suggests that most immigration doesn’t lower the wages of native workers. The results of the study are reportedly aligned with most economic research, which suggests that immigration is, in many cases, beneficial because immigrants are not just workers; they are people that start businesses and purchase goods and services from U.S. businesses, circulating capital throughout the economy.

In addition, Harvard Business Review suggests immigrants are responsible for starting 25 percent of new businesses, an impressive number considering they account for 15 percent of the population of the United States.