June 23, 2022

Not Real News: Fact Check Claims About Tennessee Abortion Law, Amy Coney Barrett & More | national news

COMPLAINT: Immigrants living illegally in the US from Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador are “twice as likely” to commit crimes as US-born citizens.

FACTS: Research shows that immigrants living in the United States without legal permission actually commit crimes at lower rates than native-born citizens.

A 2018 video featuring two prominent conservative activists making statements about the arrival of immigrants to the United States, including the crime complaint, has resurfaced and is circulating widely on social media. In the clip, Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative group Turning Point USA, and Candace Owens, a conservative commentator, speak to a live audience about immigration and call for a border wall. But experts say many of the claims they make to back up their argument are false or misleading.

The video, shared Sunday on Facebook, has since been viewed more than 2 million times. It was originally recorded at an event at Stanford University in 2018 where Kirk and Owens spoke. Among the claims was the claim that immigrants living illegally in the US from specific countries are more likely to commit crimes than US-born citizens.

But experts say no evidence supports the notion. “That’s wrong. Very wrong and disturbing,” said Denise Gilman, director of the University of Texas Immigration Clinic at Austin Law School. “There’s a lot of empirical evidence that goes into the other way.”

“Almost every reputable report I’ve seen has found that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born U.S. citizens,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell University professor who teaches the immigration law.

Yale-Loehr cited a 2020 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal. The study used data from the Texas Department of Public Safety and found that immigrants living illegally in the United States have “significantly lower crime rates than native-born citizens and legal immigrants for a range of criminal offences”.

When asked to provide evidence for Kirk’s claim, Turning Point USA spokesperson Andrew Kolvet pointed to a 2018 news story about a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, an organization in conservative nonprofit, which revealed that immigrants between the ages of 15 and 35 who were living illegally in the United States made up nearly 8% of Arizona’s prison population, although they make up about 2% of the population of the state. The report also concluded that immigrants living illegally in the United States are much more likely to be convicted of a crime than “other Arizonans”.

But the newspaper has “significant problems,” Gilman wrote in an email to the AP. She noted that the article had not been peer-reviewed and that the author had failed to take into account the potential bias of prosecutors against immigrants. “It may well be that migrants are not committing more crimes but rather being prosecuted at higher rates,” Gilman wrote.

“The entire methodology is highly questionable and the basic explanation of the method is not solid,” Ingrid Eagly, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote in an email to the PA.

Ernesto Castañeda, director of the American University’s immigration lab, wrote in an email that the finding that immigrants living illegally in the United States are overrepresented in Arizona prisons “does not mean that they commit more or worse crimes”.

– Associated Press writer Josh Kelety in Phoenix contributed to this report.