Do undocumented immigrants commit more crimes?

â??Welcome to Hellâ?? is the greeting dozens of undocumented immigrants heard when they arrived into the U.S.

It’s become a hot button political issue: Do undocumented immigrants commit a disproportionate number of crimes?

That's hard to determine because national crime figures in the U.S. don't look at whether non-citizens who commit crimes are in the country legally or illegally.

A study by a criminal justice research group, the Sentencing Project, found that foreign-born U.S. residents commit crimes less often than native-born citizens.

The group focused on two major social trends over the past quarter-century to make its point. While the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. more than tripled between 1990 and 2014, the nation's violent crime rate declined by more than half during that same period.

But a report from the Heritage Foundation counters with this point: non-citizens make up 27 percent of the federal prison population, but they only make up 9 percent of the nation's adult population, which the foundation argues, indicates non-citizens commit crimes at three times the rate of citizens.

The Borderland itself makes its own compelling argument in this debate. While U.S. Census data shows that more than one-quarter of El Paso County residents are foreign-born, many of them undocumented, El Paso has remained the safest big city in America for several years running.

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