Two new studies by California researchers counter negative perceptions that immigrants increase crime and job competition, showing that they are incarcerated at far lower rates than native-born citizens and actually help boost their wages.
A study released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that immigrants who arrived in the state between 1990 and 2004 increased wages for native workers by an average 4%.
Another study released Monday by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center showed that immigrant men ages 18 to 39 had an incarceration rate five times lower than native-born citizens in every ethnic group examined. Among men of Mexican descent, for instance, 0.7% of those foreign-born were incarcerated compared to 5.9% of native-born, according to the study, co-written by UC Irvine sociologist Ruben G. Rumbaut.
Both studies are based on U.S. census data, which includes both legal and illegal immigrants. They were released just days before the U.S. Congress is to restart debate on major immigration reform legislation and as numerous states, including Texas, consider harsh measures against illegal migrants.
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