Your average immigrant is not a threat to you. Whether legal or illegal, the fact is that immigrants commit fewer violent crimes than those born in the U.S. This issue has been lied about and fought over for years, but the reality is that immigrants are less likely to commit violent crime.

Several years ago I did a research project where I examined sex crimes committed by illegal immigrants. It simply examined the characteristics of those who committed such crimes and included a basic estimate of the number of sex crimes committed. . It became clear that few actually read the article I wrote. If they had, they would have noticed the profiling characteristics were broken down the same way I had broken down these characteristics in my previous two books on male and female citizen serial killers. Prior to  the research on illegal immigrant sex offenders, I had examined citizen serial killers in my two books: The New Predator: Women Who Kill, Profiles of Female Serial Killers and Vulture: Profiling Sadistic Serial Killers which came out in 2002 and 2005. Creating profiles was something I was famous for and was nothing new for those in the field of criminal profiling.

Sadly, my study of illegal immigrant sex offenders was maligned, misrepresented, and outright lied about. Some called me a racist even though the illegal immigrants in the study came from all around the world and were all colors, shapes, and sizes. The main purpose of my initial research was to create profiles of offenders. As any profiler does, I examined the characteristics of the sex crimes and murders to demonstrate the patterns.

Every society has its sex offenders. This is sadly part of human nature. They are everywhere and their victim counts are high. Many don’t realize that child molesters average over fifty victims prior to being apprehended in the U.S. Some researchers put this estimate much higher, in the hundreds. The average number of victims in my study of illegal immigrants was four. This is far less than statistics of U.S. perpetrators. The numbers of crimes committed by illegal immigrants in my study were never higher than those committed by native born. This is consistent with much research which shows that foreign born men are less likely to be incarcerated than U.S. born men. Though my article was plainly written, there were people who lied and said that I stated that immigrants had higher rates of sex offenses than native born. This is false. I never said that.

Then there were the bizarre attacks directed me. There seems to be a number of individuals who barked that I was a fraud because I study rapists and killers! Their writings were almost incoherent, and I could almost see them foaming at the mouth as they banged on their keyboards in a caveman type way. They didn’t like that these crimes were pointed out, and they were going to attack me any way they could. I was fighting for the victims. They were fighting for the rapists and killers. Enough said.

The reality is that very few people actually read my 2006 report, and even fewer read the follow up about how illegal immigrants are widely used in sex trafficking rings and thrown away after being destroyed. No one was interested in the innocent victims. That was clear.

Congress is finally getting ready to revisit immigration reform, and I didn’t want my work misrepresented again. There are so many lies and distortions of my work on this subject that I simply cannot keep up with all of it. It may surprise some people to know that I actually support amnesty for those who have not committed violent crimes or felonies because most of these people honestly want to be a positive part of this country. They work hard and want a safe life. They are not here to harm anyone.

Many don’t understand that there are a lot of refugees amongst the illegal immigrant communities. Females and gays have fled from oppressive and violent countries in the hopes of living free in the U.S. They literally are running for their lives. In some countries, homosexuals are hunted like wild game. If they are caught, they meet a grisly end. This isn’t something that is given much mainstream media coverage, but it is true and scary. If you lived in a country where you were targeted for torture or death, you’d run here too.

Often illegal immigrants are victimized in this country due to their status. They are victims of prostitution rings, extortion, and a host of other crimes. There are situations where girls are forced to service up to ten men a day as prisoners. Too many times they fear reporting, and the victimization continues. I don’t believe women deserve to be beaten and prostituted out simply because they came into this country illegally!

Immigrants are not all foaming at the mouth rapists looking to kill. The vast majority want to be here to work and raise families. Their rate of violent crime is less than that of native born. Immigrants are incarcerated at far less of a rate than those born in the U.S. It is a lie that they commit a higher rate of violent crime than citizens.

The innocent immigrants are unfairly lumped in with the predators, and they don’t deserve that. Many reading this would be surprised at how much immigrants are being abused and used. In my career, I always fought for victims, and they have been woefully ignored. So it is not about politics. It is not about headlines. It is not about lies and distortions. My work was and always will be for victims who have no voice. And in this case, the immigrants who fear for their lives need a voice. Your average immigrant is not the boogeyman. Instead, your average immigrant is just like you. They want to live. They want to work. They want to love. They simply want a chance.

About the Author

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., is a criminal profiler and expert on serial crimes.

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