Are Deportable Aliens a Unique Threat to Public Safety?

Comparing the Recidivism of Deportable and Nondeportable Aliens

Published In: Criminology and Public Policy, v. 7, no. 1, Feb. 2008, p. 59-82

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2007

by Laura J. Hickman, Marika Booth

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RESEARCH SUMMARY: The study compared the recidivism of 517 deportable and 780 nondeportable aliens released from the Los Angeles County Jail over a 30-day period in 2002. The results of the authors' analyses revealed no difference in the rearrest rate of deportable and nondeportable aliens in terms of its occurrence, frequency, or timing. POLICY IMPLICATIONS: The results lend no support to the ubiquitous assertion that deportable aliens are a unique threat to public safety. These findings undermine one common justification offered for the current crackdown on deportable aliens within the country. More research is needed to determine whether these results can be replicated generally and with subtypes of deportable aliens.

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