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After The Marshall Project and the New York Times's The Upshot published an investigation a year ago debunking the often-repeated idea that immigrants increase crime in the U.S., our readers overwhelmingly had one question for us: What about undocumented immigrants? We knew we wanted to answer this question. The problem was, because it's difficult to collect data on them, very little information exists about undocumented immigrants. So when the Pew Research Center released new estimates of undocumented populations across the country, we saw the opportunity to respond to our readers.
Since taking office, President Trump has repeatedly claimed that immigrants bring a tremendous amount of crime into America. He's wrong, and the proof is in the data. This visual piece examines and demonstrates the relationship between immigration and crime in American cities over the past 40 years. Readers can see for themselves that increased immigration does not accompany higher violent crime rates. In fact, immigration is more frequently associated with reduced crime. This is important work: as of 2017, Gallup polls show that almost half of Americans agree that immigrants make crime worse. This research is crucial to debunking the dangerous myth that immigrants lead to crime.