Blaming President Obama for being soft on crime, Christie revived an old right-wing talking point, attacking the so-called “sanctuary cities” that have refused to comply with federal deportation programs:
Sanctuary cities is part of the problem in this country. That’s where crime is happening, in cities where they don’t enforce the immigration law. And this president turns his back.
The Republican case against sanctuary cities came roaring back last year after the fatal shooting of a San Francisco woman, who was allegedly killed by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported on multiple occasions. While that case revealed real shortcomings in the immigrant enforcement system, it’s misleading to blame immigrants for raising overall crime rates. Just today, The New York Times highlighted new research showing that immigrants are statistically less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans:
It showed, for example, that between 1990 and 2013, as the foreign-born share of the United States population nearly doubled and the number of unauthorized immigrants more than tripled, violent crime declined 48 percent and property crime fell 41 percent.
The study also showed that incarceration rates of native-born Americans were far higher than of migrants.