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Study: Crime rate lower among immigrants

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A study finds immigrants to the United States have a significantly lower crime rate than those born in the country.

Ruben Rumbaut, a sociologist at the University of California at Irvine, and Walter Ewing of Harvard used figures from the 2000 census. He found that 3.5 percent of U.S.-born men aged 18 to 39 were behind bars in 2000, five times the rate for foreign-born men, The Orange County Register reported.

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He also found a sharp decline in crime rates overall.

"While immigration is going up, crime is going down," Rumbaut said. "I think it's important to get the facts out there."

Rumbaut and Ewing did the study for the Immigration Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

John Keeley, a spokesman for the Center for Immigration Studies, disputed their findings. He suggested that many immigrants do not report crimes when they are victimized so crime in immigrant communities is likely to be underreported.

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