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Study: Counties that Provided 'Sanctuary' to Undocumented Immigrants Saw Falling Crime Rates

June 20, 2022 (1 min read)

Sangita Menon, KUT, June 15, 2022

"Counties that adopted certain sanctuary policies related to undocumented immigrants around 2014 saw a drop in both property and violent crime, according to a new study from a researcher at UT Austin. In 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement implemented a “Secure Communities” tool to notify ICE's Law Enforcement Support Center when anyone fingerprinted by local law enforcement matched the biometric information of someone who could be deported. Counties that didn’t cooperate with ICE’s requests to detain undocumented immigrants or notify the agency upon their release from custody were considered “sanctuary counties” in a paper by Marta Ascherio, who received a PhD in sociology from UT Austin. Ascherio analyzed crime and demographic data from 2013 to 2016 across 3,105 U.S. counties. That's about 99% of all U.S. counties excluding those in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Her study was published in the journal Social Science Research."