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Professor: New Study Affirms Law-Abiding Nature of Undocumented Immigrants 08.10.17
Professor: New Study Affirms Law-Abiding Nature of Undocumented Immigrants

An Adler University professor says a new study analyzing 25 years of U.S. population and crime statistics supports previous evidence that immigrants have a propensity to be law abiding.

"The results of this (American Journal of Public Health report) challenge the notion that undocumented immigrants cause higher crime rates and general chaos in our communities,” psychology professor Josefina Alvarez said, in a Reuters article.

Alvarez has spearheaded 16 years of research on drug and alcohol abuse among Latinos. The new AJPH study is the first of its kind, according to Reuters. Researchers used immigration estimates from the Center for Migration Studies and the Pew Research Center to test the premise that those who entered the U.S. unlawfully placed the public at greater risk by driving under the influence and using illegal drugs.

"Contrary to the rhetoric, with every 1 percent increase in the proportion of undocumented immigrants in a population of 100,000, there were 42 fewer drunken-driving arrests, 22 fewer drug arrests and roughly one less drug overdose,” Reuters reports.

Additionally, while the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. tripled from around 3.5 million to nearly 11 million, violent crime rates were cut in half. Analysis comprises data from 1990 through 2014.

"The study cites politicians' claims about undocumented immigrants jeopardizing the health and safety of citizens starting in 2006, when an Iowa congressman claimed that 13 Americans died daily as a result of undocumented drunken drivers," the story states.

For more information, read the full Reuters article or review the complete AJPH study.

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About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.