Sample Sociology Essay Paper on Summary Analysis and Statistical Commentary

Summary Analysis

            One of the widely held yet controversial perception is that immigrants, especially the undocumented ones, increase crime rates in the United States metropolitan areas they settle in. However, the results of several studies conducted by different entities and individuals including Pew Research Center and Cato Institute among others have established that there is no significant direct correlation between undocumented immigrants and crime. The studies have corroborated their findings with the crime and immigration data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Documented or not, immigrants come to the U.S. in search of employment and are associated with bringing cultural diversity and economic growth in their hosting communities.

            While it is not possible to estimate the exact number of undocumented immigrants in the country with pinpoint accuracy, residual estimates from DHS show that the 2007 figures reduced by 1.5 million to stand at 10.7 million in 2016. Analysis of crime figures in various metropolitan areas across the country showed that there is a general decline in crime rates despite increasing or declining number of undocumented immigrants. Such trend mirrors the country’s crime estimates which has declined over the past 25 years. Most importantly, crime data from areas which experienced an increase in undocumented immigrant population recorded a decline in crime rate.   

            Specifically, metropolitan areas with declining or increasing population of undocumented immigrants recorded a slight decline in violent crime rates. Similar trends were also recorded for property crimes. Despite such data that challenge the commonly held perception about undocumented immigrants and crime rates, others have pointed to a worrying trend of high crime rates among native-born Americans. There is growing concern that immigrants, documented or undocumented, indirectly contribute to high crime rates by limiting job opportunities for the natives. However, preliminary results of a research study have identified harsh economic times, housing problems and unemployment as the primary contributors of high crime rates among native-born Americans.

Statistical Commentary

Main findings

  • According to DHS estimates, there were 10.7 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. This marked a 1.5 million decrease from 2007 figures.
  • According to the F.B.I, Pew Research Center and other sources, there has been a general decline in crime rates in the country for the past 25 years.
  • Influx or decline in undocumented immigrant population has little to no effect direct effect on violent and non-violent crimes.
  • Property crime rates showed no change per 100,000 residents with increasing or declining immigrant population in various metropolitan areas across the country.
  • Same trend was recorded for other crimes such as burglary, larcenies, murders, robberies and assaults.

Key Crime Rate Statistics: Violent and Non-violent Crime Rates

A review of 2007 to 2016 violent and non-violent crime data in various metropolitan areas showed slight decrease to flat trend relative to the increasing or decreasing number of undocumented residents. A 2014 crime rate analysis per 100,000 metropolitan area residents showed that every 1 percent increase in the number of undocumented residents corresponded to a decline of 94 property crime cases.

  • Only four metropolitan areas: Albuquerque, Medford (Oregon), Anchorage and Spokane-Spokane Valley (Washington) recorded a slight increase in the number of property crimes including burglaries and larcenies between 2007 and 2016.
  • Of the four metropolitan areas, only Spokane-Spokane, Washington, recorded an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants over the same period.
  • Albuquerque recorded the highest increase, yet an insignificant change, in the number of robberies at 76, followed by Anchorage (58), Odessa (Texas) (25) and Medford (25). However, all the metropolitan areas recorded a decline in the number of undocumented residents between 2007 and 2016. Only Lubbock, Texas, which recorded an increase of 1,400 undocumented immigrants recorded an increase of 32 in robbery incidences while also recording a decline of 17 in the number of assault cases.