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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Study: Immigration helps reduce crime

A new study argues that immigration has helped reduce crime in some cities, Newsweek's Christopher Dickey writes. (Dickey opposes Arizona's tough new immigration law.) The study -- the work of a University of Colorado sociologist -- looked at crime rates and Census data between 1990 and 2000. (An abstract of the study, which appears in Social Science Quarterly, can be found here.) Why do some experts think immigration can be credited for the decrease? From Dickey's column:

Robert J. Sampson, head of the sociology department at Harvard, has suggested that, among other things, immigrants move into neighborhoods abandoned by locals and help prevent them from turning into urban wastelands. They often have tighter family structures and mutual support networks, all of which actually serve to stabilize urban environments.

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