Opinion

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Letter

Real Impacts of Immigration

Any discussion of the impact of immigration has to include the positives as well

The writer of a recent letter to the editor alleged that immigrants bring with them violent crime – referring to recent isolated events. This fear-mongering does not do justice to the truth. We have to take a broad view regarding the issue. There are many impacts from immigration but an increase in violence is not one of them.

From 1980 through 2016 the US saw a 118 percent increase in the documented and undocumented immigrant population (Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 2016). During the same time period the violent crime rate declined 36 percent (FBI). In Texas in 2015 the homicide conviction rates for undocumented immigrants was 16 percent lower and for all immigrants 48 percent lower than native-born citizens. Texas has one of the largest immigrant populations in the U.S.

From this information it would appear that you would be safer living in an immigrant community than the general population. Any discussion of the impact of immigration has to include the positives as well. Immigrants contribute to our nation through their labor, taxes, and service in the military. They, especially the younger immigrants, are vital to the continued viability of our safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

Charles W. Davis II
Columbia Falls