Crime reporters and criminologists say President Trump’s justification for creating a new federal office devoted to crimes committed by immigrants is misleading, because foreign-born residents actually commit fewer crimes than most native citizens, reports Media Matters. They urged journalists covering the issue to go beyond just reporting Trump’s anecdotal allegations and present the data that prove his theories wrong. Last week, Trump announced the creation of “an office to serve American victims,” dubbed VOICE (Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement).
Criminologist James Lynch of the University of Maryland, president of the American Society of Criminology, said, “The evidence in the last 20 years is that [immigrants] have lower incidences of crime compared to the public at large. The immigrant population does nothing but good — they pay taxes, they do the work. It is pretty clear that immigrants are a positive force and a very low production of crime on their part.” Asked how the media should cover the story, he said, “They should do due diligence. … I would be skeptical of anything that comes out of a political speech.” David J. Krajicek of Criminal Justice Journalists and a crime reporter since the 1970s, said, “It’s statistically not true that immigrants commit more crimes than legal native residents of the U.S. … journalists are having some difficulty trying to report the facts that countermand the many, many assertions that [Trump] and [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions are making about crime.” Krajicek said one of the problems with Trump’s claims about immigrants and crime is that the far-right media pick them up without verifying that they’re true.