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Berkeley radio station KPFA 94.1 FM interviewed CJCJ’s Mike Males about the findings of his recent report Refuting Fear: Immigration, Youth, and California’s Stunning Declines in Crime and Violence.” 

The report finds that crime and violence have decreased as racial and ethnic diversity and immigration increased in California, particularly among young people. As California’s population moved from two-thirds white in 1980 to over 60 percent people of color today, the state has seen dramatic reductions in crime in each category. Additionally, indicators of social health and safety — such as violence, violent death and school dropouts — have decreased significantly, and California has weathered the national opioid epidemic better than elsewhere in the country.

Listen to the interview here (segement begins at 38:33) »

Quotes from the program: 

Overall we found that there is no grounds for assuming that a large immigrant population is associated with more crime and drugs and violence — and [the data] lead us to assume just the opposite. Although you certainly can’t prove that more immigrants mean less crime, it is certainly associated with less problems. California has an unusually large immigrant population. It’s had very large growth in the immigrant population. There are about 2.5 million undocumented immigrants in the state according to the most recent estimates. So if any state should be having these kinds of problems — more crime, more drugs, etcetera — it should be California. What we’ve found was just the opposite.” — CJCJ’s Mike Males

As far as policies that are destructive, I think we have a legislature that has been too willing to look at myths about young people — that they are criminal and irresponsible and so forth that us just not the case today — and have enacted some repressive laws that are directed at that age group. I think we need to look at fewer of those types of laws, and more of a legal structure and a criminal justice structure that reflects this dramatic revolution in youth crime that has not gotten nearly as much attention as it should be getting. — CJCJ’s Mike Males

There’s been a lot of controversy in recent months — especially coming from Washington, the Trump administration, Congress — that immigrants and particularly states with sanctuary cities that are immigrant friendly — that is, their local officials don’t automatically turn undocumented immigrants over to federal law enforcement agencies — that these cities breed crime’ in the words of the President, or that they generate drugs, and all kinds of social problems. These are completely unfounded. — CJCJ’s Mike Males