Brian Hicks in his Aug. 26 column stated that “... there are no scientific studies that indicate illegal immigrants commit crime at a higher rate than legal citizens.” This is not true.

John R. Lott Jr., Ph.D., published a February 2018 paper on the Social Science Research Network titled: “Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona.”

The study examines Arizona’s illegal immigrant crime statistics from 1985 to 2017 and shows that illegal immigrants are at least 142 percent more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. Dr. Lott holds a Ph.D. in economics from UCLA. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Yale, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, among other institutions.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has said that “John Lott did probably the most methodologically rigorous and comprehensive examination of this by using Arizona Department of corrections data. ...” Why did Dr. Lott restrict his study to Arizona? Because other states make it difficult to separate illegal immigrant crime statistics from legal immigrant and native American statistics. Other studies either mix illegal and legal immigrant crime statistics, or rely on immigrants to self-report criminal records.

Whether the rate is small or large, less or more than the general crime rate, American citizens should have all the data and analysis available to make good policy decisions.

Ed Shafer

South Moss Oak Lane