Since taking office, President Trump has expanded interior immigration enforcement, made it easier for states and local governments to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants, and argued that building a wall is essential to reducing crime. These actions are largely based on the perception that illegal immigrants are a significant and disproportionate source of crime in the United States. A new brief from Michelangelo Landgrave and Alex Nowrasteh uses American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census to analyze incarcerated immigrants according to their citizenship and legal status in 2017. The data show that all immigrants—legal and illegal—are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population.
President Trump has declared a national emergency on the border to construct some portion of his promised border barrier. Lawyers will no doubt spill much ink arguing about the legalities surrounding the declaration and use of funds. However, according to Cato scholar Alex Nowrasteh, no reasonable person can look at the southern border and agree that it rises to the level of a national emergency.
- “There Is No National Emergency on the Border, Mr. President,” by Alex Nowrasteh
- “Wall Emergency, Even If Legal Under Existing Law, Violates the Separation of Powers,” by Ilya Shapiro
- “Donald Trump Can Call a ‘National Emergency,’ but That Doesn’t Mean He Can Build the Wall,” by Ilya Somin
- “Why the Wall Won’t Work,” by David Bier