Illegal immigrants do not pose a greater threat to public safety than other immigrants, according to a new RAND Corp. study.
RAND researchers tracked for a year nearly 1,300 male immigrants released from the Los Angeles County Jail system to determine whether illegal immigrants were more likely than their legal counterparts to be rearrested, a simple measure of what threat they pose to society. The study found no difference between the two groups.
"Our findings run counter to the notion that illegal immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to cycle in and out of the local criminal justice system," says Laura Hickman, a RAND researcher. The numbers, however, are a bit complicated. RAND researchers did find a higher percentage of illegals than legal immigrants rearrested — 43 percent to 35 percent. But the margin disappeared when factors such as age, ethnicity, country of birth, and type of criminal arrest were compared.