Texas: Illegal immigrants have higher homicide and sexual assault rates

In 2012, the state recorded 3 homicide convictions per 100,000 inhabitants. The rate for illegal immigrants was 3.9 (30% higher).

The Center for Immigration Studies revealed that illegal immigrants in Texas have even higher crime rates than previously reported. This is partly because certain reports "misclassify as natives a significant number of offenders who are later identified as illegals."

With information from 2021, the organization contradicts the research of the Cato Institute or The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, in which Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) data is "misuse[d]" as "it can take years to identify convicts as illegal immigrants while in custody."

Studies purporting to show low illegal immigrant crime rates in Texas do not take into account the fact that illegal immigrants are not always identified immediately upon arrest. In many cases, illegal immigrants are identified only after they are incarcerated. While strong claims about the overall criminality of illegal immigrants are not possible with current data, previous research has substantially underestimated it.

Identifying illegal immigrants

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) sends offenders' fingerprints to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine their immigration status when they are arrested. Illegals who have had encounters with federal immigration officials, either at the border or during a previous arrest, will be identified by the DHS and then listed as illegal in Texas DPS data.

However, the immigration status of a significant portion of immigrants arrested in Texas cannot be verified by this system, as not all illegal immigrants are detected and identified by immigration officials. Therefore, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (DCJ) continues to investigate the immigration status of offenders while they are incarcerated.

Homicide rate 30% higher

DPS data interpreted by the Center for Immigration Studies suggest that illegal immigrants in Texas are convicted of homicide and sexual assault at higher rates than the statewide average. However, doubts persist regarding misdemeanors.

In 2012, Texas recorded three homicide convictions per 100,000 people. The rate among illegal immigrants was 3.9 per 100,000 (30% higher). In fact, illegals showed a higher homicide rate in almost every year from 2012 to 2019.

In the case of sexual assault, the trend is even more exaggerated. The rate of sexual assault crimes among illegal immigrants is approximately double that of the general population of the state, even with some illegal offenders yet to be identified.