Trump Just Called DREAMers ‘Hardened Criminals’ – Data Proves He’s Lying

Pres. Donald Trump took to Twitter for his daily morning lunacy, and this time he attacked DACA kids, also known as DREAMers. These are children who were brought here as children by their undocumented parents, and they’ve benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In a Tweet Tuesday morning, Trump described these young people “hardened criminals” and said that they’re not “angels.”

Conservative Efforts to Smear DREAMers

The right has long tried to smear DREAMers as nightmarish criminals. Of course, this is nothing new.

However, it should be noted that Trump has previously called DREAMers “terrific” people and said he wants a “bill of love” to keep them safe from deportation.

Who Are the DREAMers?

First of all, there are approximately 800,000 DACA recipients, with nearly 690,000 of these young immigrants currently enrolled in DACA.

daca statistics from PEW research
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, via Pew Research Center

Keep in mind that Donald Trump is saying that these young people are “no longer very young,” but as of 2017, most Dreamers are aged 25 and under.

dreamers daca recipients ages
source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, via Pew Research Center

Most of the DACA recipients hail from Mexico and other countries in Central and South America, but not all. However, you can expect Trump to be especially critical of brown-skinned kids.

pew research daca recipients by country chart
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, via Pew Research Center

Libertarian Think Tank Shows DREAMers Less Likely to Commit Crimes

Let’s get to the facts. Are Dreamers more likely to commit crimes? Let’s go to the CATO Institute, an American libertarian think tank that’s headquartered in Washington D.C. Moreover, tt was founded by none other than Charles Koch of the infamous conservative supporting Koch Brothers. This Cato Institute article refers to Dreamers as “illegal immigrants,” a phrase liberals dislike. Notably, we like to call them undocumented immigrants. But I digress. What’s important here is what Cato says about the Dreamer incarceration and crime rate. One sentence says it all:

In fact, DREAMers have lower incarceration rates than native-born Americans of the same age and education level. (Source)

And this.

DREAMers are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans with the same age and education. DACAineligible illegal immigrants and all other legal immigrants are even less likely to be incarcerated. The incarceration rate for DREAMers is closer to that of native-born Americans because they came here at a younger age and are more assimilated into American culture. (Source)

Note: literature about this topic abounds, but I deliberately chose statistics provided by a think tank that’s not “liberal biased” so that I could prove a point. Although I think data stands on its own and is irrefutable, uneducated and willfully ignorant idiots on the right insist that any data that disproves their views is skewed.

“Vast Body of Empirical Literature”

Cato goes on to point out that there is a “vast body of empirical literature” that shows that neither legal nor “illegal” immigrants increase local crime rates. In fact, according to Cato (and the FACTS and STATISTICS), immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Cato goes into great detail about the methodology of their studies, dispelling any doubt as to their veracity. (Landgrave and Nowrasteh, “Criminal Immigrants.”)

  • Step 1: Identify incarcerated undocumented (“illegal) immigrants
  • Step 2: Shrink that pool to those who are DREAMers
  • Step 3: Estimate the number of nonincarcerated and incarcerated native-born Americans, legal immigrants, and DACA ineligible undocumented immigrants

According to Cato, DREAMers had an incarceration rate of 0.98% in 2015, while native-born Americans had an incarceration rate of 1.12% in the same year. (Source)

The Data in Depth

The data goes even more in-depth. Immigrants as a whole are far less likely to be incarcerated for crimes. DACA ineligible kids have an incarceration rate of 0.38%, and the legal immigrant incarceration rate is only 0.24%. Furthermore, the native-born incarceration rate is a whopping 14% higher than DREAMer incarceration rate.

daca dreamers incarceration rate
high school americans incarceration rate

You can download Cato’s full article, with citations, as a PDF.

Fun fact about DREAMers. More of them have college degrees than their contemporaries who are American born, according to an American Progress study. It’s also a myth that they receive public assistance (welfare).

Blowback from Twitter

Although Trump’s typical sycophantic followers were quick to cheer him on, the sane folks on Twitter hit back hard with FACTS.

And natch, yours truly had something to say.

Conclusion: Fuck Trump

I’ve presented some hella hardcore unbiased statistics here, but let me close by saying simply this. Fuck Trump and his BS lies.

I know many DREAMers personally. They went to school with my children. They were honor roll students in the top percentage of their classes. Efforts to smear these fine young people are what’s criminal.

Featured image via Wikipedia

Tiffany Willis Clark is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America and An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she had a long and successful career actively working with at-risk youth, people struggling with poverty and unemployment, and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. She’s passionate about their struggles. In 2011, she made the decision to pursue her dreams and become a full-time writer. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.