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Refugee Admissions and Public Safety: Are Refugee Settlement Areas More Prone to Crime?

Author

Listed:
  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    (University of California, Merced)

  • Bansak, Cynthia

    (St. Lawrence University)

  • Pozo, Susan

    (Western Michigan University)

Abstract

According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of refugees worldwide rose to 21.3 million in 2015. Yet, resistance to the welcoming of refugees appears to have grown. The possibility that refugees may commit acts of terrorism or engage in criminal behavior has served as fuel for the Trump Administration’s position in 2017. Is there any basis for these fears? We exploit the variation in the geographic and temporal distribution of refugees across U.S. counties to ascertain if there is a link between refugee settlements and local crime rates or terrorist events in the United States. We fail to find any statistically significant evidence of such a connection.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Bansak, Cynthia & Pozo, Susan, 2018. "Refugee Admissions and Public Safety: Are Refugee Settlement Areas More Prone to Crime?," IZA Discussion Papers 11612, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11612
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    Cited by:

    1. Gunadi, Christian, 2020. "Does immigrant legalization affect crime? Evidence from deferred action for childhood arrivals in the United States," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 327-353.
    2. Stacey A. Shaw & Graeme Rodgers & Patrick Poulin & Olive Minor & Ashley Allen, 2021. "Safety Among Newly Resettled Refugees in the USA," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 1045-1062, September.
    3. Verme, Paolo & Schuettler, Kirsten, 2021. "The impact of forced displacement on host communities: A review of the empirical literature in economics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    4. Huang, Yue & Kvasnicka, Michael, 2019. "Immigration and Crimes against Natives: The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 12469, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Max Viskanic, 2019. "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 2016-18 | Migrants, Refugees and the rise of Far Right Populism," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/54p3kn4dif9, Sciences Po.
    6. Brandyn F. Churchill & Andrew Dickinson & Taylor Mackay & Joseph J. Sabia, 2022. "The Effect of E-Verify Laws on Crime," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 75(5), pages 1294-1320, October.
    7. Max Viskanic, 2019. "Fear and loathing on the campaign trail 2016-18 : migrants, refugees and the rise of far right populism [Peur et haine dans la campagne électorale 2016-18 : migrants, réfugiés et la montée du popul," SciencePo Working papers tel-03369802, HAL.
    8. Masterson, Daniel & Yasenov, Vasil, 2019. "Does Halting Refugee Resettlement Reduce Crime? Evidence from the United States Refugee Ban," IZA Discussion Papers 12551, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Mayda, Anna-Maria & Parsons, Christopher & Pham, Han & Vézina, Pierre-Louis, 2022. "Refugees and foreign direct investment: Quasi-experimental evidence from US resettlements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    10. Bucheli, José R. & Fontenla, Matías & Waddell, Benjamin James, 2019. "Return migration and violence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 113-124.
    11. Masterson, Daniel & Yasenov, Vasil, 2018. "Does Halting Refugee Resettlement Reduce Crime? Evidence from the US Refugee Ban," SocArXiv w2x7p, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    refugees; crime; United States; terrorism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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