Photo of immigration officials making arrests by a bus
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers make arrests during a raid. Proponents of the Secure Communities program, which involves local police cooperation with ICE, argue that it helps fight crime. But a study by UC Davis economists found no link between deportations and crime rates. (ICE photo)

Study Finds Deportations Haven't Reduced Crime

Economists' findings are part of multidisciplinary approach to studying immigration.

UC Davis researchers are examining the consequences of deportation from many angles — its effects on people, families and communities. Their research employs analytical methods from sociology, economics, the humanities and other disciplines.

In one study, economics professor Giovanni Peri and graduate student Annie Hines compared data for deportations with crime rates nationwide. They found that cities and counties that participated in the Secure Communities program, involving police cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were no safer than communities that did not.

Their findings were recently featured in the New York Times. Peri and Hines report on their study in detail in an IZA Institute of Labor Economics discussion paper.

Peri said the study was part of a multidisciplinary proposal funded by the UC-Mexico initiative and the Russell Sage Foundation. Other research focuses on how incarceration of immigrants effects their families (Caitlin Patler, Department of Sociology), and telling the stories of deported people on the Humanizing Deportation site (led by Robert Irwin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese).

Peri is also the founding director of a new UC Davis Center for the Study of 21st Century Global Migration that brings together dozens of immigration experts across the campus.

Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science


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