Criminologist claims that immigration lowers African-American homicides
University of Pennsylvania criminologist Lawrence W. Sherman is a prime exponent of the theory that immigration exerts a moderating effect on crime among poor black men.
“Cities that have heavily concentrated and segregated African-American poverty are the places that have increases in homicide,” Sherman said. “The places that have lots of immigration tend not to have nearly as much segregation and isolation” of poor blacks.
Sherman acknowledges the theory is evolving and unproven.
“The fundamental driver of the homicide rate is honor killings among young black men,” Sherman said. “What is it about immigration that tends to tone it down? I don’t think we know the answer to it.”
He said immigrants “change the spirit” of a community and affect the way young black men in poor areas relate to each other.
“It seems a plausible way to account for the big difference in the trajectory of homicides” in stagnant cities versus ones with lots of immigration, he said.
A more likely explanation is that immigration forces blacks out of neighborhoods which has the effect of lowering African-American crime rates in those areas.