San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Immigrants in California are far less likely to land in prison than their U.S.-born counterparts, a finding that defies the perception that immigration and crime are connected, according to a study released Monday.
Foreign-born residents make up 35 percent of the state's overall population, but only 17 percent of the adult prison population, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, which conducted the research.
Noncitizen men from Mexico between the ages of 18 and 40, which the study indicated were more likely to be in the country illegally, were eight times less likely to be in a "correctional setting," the study found.
The study did not address the visa status of those included among the foreign-born, which would include citizens and noncitizens, including those in the country legally and illegally.
Nonetheless, these results have implications for the current debates over immigration policy, said Kristin Butcher, co-author of the report."Our research indicates that limiting immigration, requiring higher educational levels to obtain visas or spending more money to increase penalties against criminal immigrants will have little impact on public safety," Butcher said in a statement.Read the report from Public Policy Institute of California here. This cuts against the perception that undocumented individuals are driving crime in the communities they live. It also reinforces my position that we need comprensive immigration reform that includes some form of amnisty for individuals already here, a streamlined process for those who want to enter the country and increased border security.
Interestingly enough, I don't think Obama's views on immigration differ greatly from McCain's. I like Clinton's position best, mainly that she opposes a guest worker program but supports a fair wages policy.