Immigrant concentration and violent crime
Henry, Arlana Kezia
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Despite a decline in crime rates in the U.S. over the last few decades, the perception remains that immigration increases rates of violence and crime in neighborhoods, cities, and metropolitan areas. Utilizing data from the National Neighborhood Crime Study (NNCS) and multilevel modeling techniques this study contributes to research on immigration and crime by assessing the relationship across a large sample of neighborhoods and metropolitan areas., I examine whether contextual factors at the metropolitan level (e.g., segregation, labor market structure, income inequality) condition the relationship between an indicator of immigrant concentration and violent crime rates at the neighborhood (census tract) level. I find that controlling for structural factors immigrant concentration is not associated with violent crime at the neighborhood level, and negatively and significantly associated with violent crime at the metropolitan level. Results are consistent with the social disorganization framework and subsequently support research associated with the immigrant revitalization perspective. Implications of the findings for theory and research on the link between immigration and crime are discussed.