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PolitiFact: Illinois Fact-Check on Crime and Immigration | Mario Godoy | Chicago Immigration Lawyer | Godoy Law Firm

Illinois Fact-Check on Crime and Immigration

At a Senate hearing on October 22, Illinois Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said that only 20% of immigrants deported from Illinois had committed any type of serious crime and that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should focus their efforts on immigrants who pose a threat to public safety. 

According to Durbin, 

“You’re not going after dangerous people, you’re going after people who are here undocumented. I can tell you the statistics in Illinois, where it turns out that fewer than 20% of those actually deported have been charged with any serious crime.”

Durbin was speaking at a hearing on the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act of 2019 bill, which is intended to “provide a civil remedy for individuals harmed by sanctuary jurisdiction policies, and for other purposes.”

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse TRAC data from ICE records,

In the first 11 months of the 2018 fiscal year, 853 individuals were deported out of Illinois, 160 of whom were classified as having serious criminal convictions, which it obtains via public records requests from ICE. 

Mostly True: PolitiFact

PolitiFact Illinois reviewed Durbin’s statement and the data and rated the statement as Mostly True. The data does not take into consideration immigrants who may have committed a serious crime in another state. PolitiFact Illinois (logo above) is the local arm of the nationally renowned, Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking enterprise that rates the truthfulness of statements made by governmental leaders and politicians. 

Recent research by the Pew Research Center found that there is no correlation between undocumented immigrants and crime. The Pew study said that while 50% of Americans believe that undocumented immigrants lead to an increase in crime, sociologists actually believe that undocumented immigrants’ goal to get employment and avoid deportation makes them less likely to engage in criminal behavior.

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