O'Reilly: Time To Listen Up On Illegals

Research shows immigrants (legal or illegal) less likely to commit crimes
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2007 7:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Last week's smackdown between Fox foes Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera entertained millions of YouTube addicts but shed little light on the issue that was the subject of their screaming fight:  Do illegal immigrants increase crime? In fact, Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson tells Salon, immigrants both legal and illegal actually commit  fewer violent crimes than Americans born here.

Ten years of data show that first-generation immigrants are much less likely to commit violence— about 45% less likely, says Sampson—than third-generation immigrants. He adds that Latinos in particular, even thought they are disproportionately poor when they enter the country, are less likely to be involved in crime, and cities in the Southwest, where large numbers of illegals live, have comparatively low crime rates.