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The recent increase in the number of Haitian migrants apprehended along the border and rumors of many more to come have prompted fierce political debate over the causes of their arrival. There is much debate about why the Haitians have arrived, but there is less discussion on how well other Haitians have done in the United States. Although most of the recent Haitian arrivals have been removed, some will permanently settle in the United States. Other Haitians who settled earlier can indicate how well future Haitians might assimilate and integrate into the United States. My colleague David J. Bier recently wrote an excellent blog post on how well Haitians have assimilated into American culture and the economy. As a sequel to that, this blog post focuses on Haitian crime.
This blog post analyzes American Community Survey (ACS) data for the year 2017 using the same methods that we employed for this larger study. Although unpublished at the time, we calculated incarceration rates for every immigrant group in the United States. The incarceration rates are represented as a rate per every 100,000 people in each subpopulation for the age range 18–54. Native‐born Americans have an incarceration rate 3.5 times higher than that of all Haitian immigrants (Figure 1). Haitian illegal immigrants have an incarceration rate 38 percent below native‐born Americans while legal Haitian immigrants have an incarceration rates about 81 percent below native‐born Americans.
Legal Haitian immigrants have an incarceration rate of 282 per 100,000 legal Haitian immigrants, which is 26 percent below that of all legal immigrants who have an incarceration rate of 380 per 100,000 all legal immigrants. Illegal Haitian immigrants have an incarceration rate about 4.4 percent above that of all illegal immigrants. We don’t have estimates of Haitian crime in subsequent generations. Regardless, Haitian immigrants have a relatively low incarceration rate.
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