Some newly released stats show that illegal immigrants really do commit more crimes, despite liberal claims that they commit less. That liberal claim may be true for older illegals who really are less likely to be criminals, just as crime declines generally for older populations.

But the stats from the prisons which largely house younger criminals under 35, who commit most of the crimes, are deeply troubling.



This situation was described in a December 2017 discussion between news commentators Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn, a conservative Canadian author, who now lives and works mainly in Woodside, New Hampshire.

Steyn has written five books, including America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a New York Times bestseller.[1] As Steyn reported, according to the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Release Data on Incarcerated Aliens, 94% of all confirmed aliens in Department of Justice (DOJ) custody as of December 2017 were unlawfully in the United States. The vast majority of these illegal immigrants were there for drug related offenses.

Or more precisely, as Steyn described, there were 39,455 suspected or confirmed non-citizens in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons — amounting to 21% of the total federal prison population. Of the total 37,557 immigrants in federal custody, 94% were illegal immigrants, primarily for drug smuggling offenses. Steyn further blasted the media and DOJ for keeping this information from the general public on the grounds of political correctness. In reality the lack of information from the media and DOJ permitted liberal support for the illegals who had made it into the U.S., and the illegals were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. As Steyn put it:

“These statistics, which for political correctness reasons we were prevented from knowing in recent years, show that this country is, in effect, importing a criminal class.”

Moreover, Steyn stated that these figures “represent just the tip of the iceberg,” because the vast majority — approximately 90% — of incarceration is at the state and local level, and the Department of Justice does not include that data in its report. However, I summarized similar crime data from Arizona in my previous blog. Moreover, the problem of immigrant gangs in major cities continues, and the majority of these gangs are made up of illegal immigrants, according to earlier DOJ reports[2] and recent statements supporting the DOJ’s continued crackdown on both gangs and illegal immigrants.

The result in effect is that the U.S. is importing a criminal class, and why should it do so, since this is only adding to the criminal population, and “America has no shortage of citizens in the country who break the law.”[3] In other words, why make America’s already serious crime problem even worse by permitting illegals to come into and stay in the country, since they are more likely to commit crimes.

A Department of Justice report issued December 21, 2017 emphasized this point in its statement about the large number of immigrants coming to the United States and committing crimes. As Attorney General Sessions stated:

“At the border and in communities across America, our citizens are being victimized by illegal aliens who commit crimes. Nearly 95 percent of confirmed aliens in our federal prisons are here illegally. We know based on sentencing data that non-citizens commit a substantially disproportionate number of drug-related offenses, which contributes to our national drug abuse crisis. The simple fact is that any offense committed by a criminal alien is ultimately preventable. One victim is too many….We (have to) start welcoming the best and brightest while turning away drug dealers, gang members, and other criminals.”[4]

One reason that the proportion of illegal immigrants is so high in federal prison is because immigrant offenses now account for about half of all federal prosecutions. Among these offenses are smuggling people into the United States. At the same time, illegal immigrants were convicted of offenses related to money laundering and drugs at a higher rate than ordinary citizens along the southern border, due to drug trafficking activity by the Mexican cartels.

Certainly it is true that the vast majority of violent crimes, such as murder, assault, and rape, are prosecuted at the state and county level. And it is true that many of the offenses by illegal immigrants may be non-violent, such as smuggling individuals into the country or illegal entry to the country. But that does not negate the fact that illegals facilitate activities that are associated with a high rate of violence, such as drug trafficking, which is wreaking havoc as part of a national addiction crisis, especially in the inner cities.

Moreover, it is important to recognize that illegal immigrants have a very different demographic profile than natives, which contributes to the high crime rate when that rate is considered for a younger demographic than the population as a whole. As reported in a January 22, 2018 National Review article by Robert Verbruggen, “Re: Illegal Immigration and Crime,” the Migration Policy Institute pointed out that illegal immigrants are concentrated in the 16-34 age range in which criminal behavior is most common. But while this criminal population group accounts for 26% of the native born, it accounts for 43% of the illegal immigrant population, so that means this is a group that has a much higher likelihood to commit crime — about 60% higher than the native-born population.

As Verbruggen points out, the illegal immigrant population “should have a murder rate something like 60 percent higher than natural-born population, based on demographics alone.” This greater propensity for crime in this younger population is borne out in the Arizona study, which shows that illegal immigrants in the 15-35 year old age range is “far more overrepresented among criminals, including murderers.”

Thus, Verbruggen’s conclusion firmly shows the dangers of allowing in illegal immigrants who are more likely to commit crimes than the general population, largely because they come from a younger demographic than the general population, and this younger population is more prone to crime.

As he observes: “If young men are coming here, working for a few years, and going home, they’re pumping up the U.S. crime rate simply by virtue of being young men.”

While these young men may work for a few years, this doesn’t mean this is steady work, especially since illegals end up working in jobs involving physical labor that are generally short term projects, such as being hired for a construction crew for the key months for construction from about April through October, or being hired for a short-term harvest job for a few months in the fall. These are notoriously low-pay, hard labor job, which could readily lead illegal immigrants to seek out other sources of income, such as through property crimes like robbery and theft.

Then, too, Verbruggen points out that among the native born, many nationalities with a high percentage of second and third-generation immigrants, particularly from Latin America, “have considerably higher rates than U.S.-born whites do.” Moreover, as he emphasizes: “Illegal immigrants unquestionably have higher crime rates than legal immigrants do.”

Accordingly, while illegals who manage to elude the justice system and become middle aged or old in America may have lower crime rates that depress the overall rates of comparing illegals and legal immigrants and native populations, it is important to recognize the contributions of the younger illegal immigrant population who make up the vast majority of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. Liberals tend to point to the overall statistics in support of the illegal immigrants who have made it to the country. But that is really a whitewash of the true picture which requires looking at the statistics for the younger illegal immigrants.

A report from the Center for Immigration Studies: “Taking Back the Streets: ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs,” points to the growing danger of these gangs. As described in this report, since 2005, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested over 8000 gangsters comprising over 700 different gangs as part of their Operation Community Shield initiative. In particular, the immigrant gangs are singled out as an especially big threat to public safety since their members are prone to violence and involved in transnational gangs. As the article states:

“The latest national gang threat assessment noted that Hispanic gang membership has been growing, especially in the Northeast and the South, and that areas with new immigrant populations are especially vulnerable to gang activity. A large share of the immigrant gangsters in the most notorious gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Surenos-13, and 18th Street are illegal aliens.”[5]

According to this report, the FBI estimates that there are about 30,000 violent street, motorcycle, and prison gangs, with about 800,000 members, with much of the growth in suburban and rural parts of the U.S. where criminal gang activity is relatively high. As of 2008, the FBI considered the gangs more violent, organized, and widespread than ever before, and this is a trend that has continued to grow.

Most significantly, the crimes associated with gang activity, such as homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault, showed the greatest increases. At the same time, these gangs reflected an increase in the number and size of gangs made up of both legal and illegal immigrant youth, with about 75% coming from Mexico. Importantly, certain gangs, such as the MS-13 and 18th Street Gang, are composed of mostly illegal immigrants.[6]

To a great extent, these gangs are involved in the illegal drug trade. As the report states:

“According to the National Drug Intelligence Center and other law enforcement sources, street gangs, along with outlaw motorcycle gangs and prison gangs, are the primary distributors of illegal drugs in the United States. Gangs increasingly are involved in smuggling large quantities of cocaine and marijuana and lesser quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA (also known as ‘ecstasy’) into the United States from foreign sources of supply and in the transportation of drugs throughout the country. Some street gangs and prison gangs have established relationships with Mexican drug trafficking organizations and these relationships have resulted in the evolution of many street gangs from retail-level distributors to smugglers.”[7]

Since this report came out, the problem of immigrant gangs has continued, along with their continued involvement in the growing drug problem in the U.S. as expressed in statements by Attorney General Sessions. He has emphasized the need to continue to go after these gangs, as well as the effort generally to stop and reduce illegal immigration to the U.S.

So I rest my case. We have to look more carefully at these crime stats and immigration to sort out the real truth.



[1] “Steyn: Truth on Illegal Immigrant Crime Was Hidden Due to Political Correctness,” Insider, Fox,

[2] Jessica M. Vaughan and Jon Feere, “Taking Back the Streets, ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs,” Center for Immigration Studies, September 30, 2008.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Department of Justice and Homeland Security Release Data on Incarcerated Alients — 94% of All Confirmed Aliens — 94% of All Confirmed Aliens in DOJ Custody Are Unlawfully Present,” December 21, 2017.

[5] Jessica M. Vaughan and Jon Feere, “Taking Back the Streets, ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs,” Center for Immigration Studies, September 30, 2008.