Public Perceptions of the Connection Between Immigration and Crime




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A great deal of research has evaluated the relationship between immigration and crime and concluded that immigrations and immigration in the United States are negatively correlated to crime (Wolff et al., 2018; Bersani & DiPietro, 2016). Despite these conclusions, many people continue to hold harsh beliefs and opinions about immigrants (Jackson & Newell, 2018; Pryce, 2018; Alcalde, 2016). Previous research has found that providing information correcting misperceptions on the immigrant population has led to more positive attitudes and perceptions about immigrants in the United States (Carnahan et al., 2020; Grigorieff et al., 2020; Abascal et al., 2021). No research to date, however, has looked specifically at correcting the misperceptions on the immigration-crime relationship. The purpose of this study was to explore whether information on the immigration-crime relationship can affect people’s attitudes and perceptions on immigration and immigrants in the United States. In this information provision experiment, 296 participants from the Amazon Turks system were randomly assigned to receive an informational fact sheet on immigration and crime research or a control page. After receiving the fact sheet or control page, each participant answered questions on their beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and opinions on various U.S. immigration topics. Results revealed that the presence of the fact sheet led to more positive attitudes and perceptions about immigrants and immigration in the United States. Further results are discussed.



Education, Social Sciences