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Immigrants and Crime

Crime is inherent in our nature. When Eve took the bite of the apple it was the first sin, but whether in legend, religion or history, all evidence leads to the same thing: as long as there are laws or rules of any kind, there will be people to break them. As the saying goes, rules are meant to be broken. Crime has no limits whether in time or space, race or culture. It is the ultimate given in the theorem that is the human nature.

Crime in the U. S. especially has always thrived because this continent was the dumping ground for the misfits of Europe. But, because the U. S. s not a penal colony, like Australia, there was no one to really keep this place in check. Criminals ran from Europe to hide in the wilderness of the new land. As it goes, this country was based on immigrants and on the most part still consists of them. They come from all over and with them bring their culture, their ideals, their food, their language and their criminals. This is not to say that America does not have its own, or that every immigrant is a criminal, but like all people immigrants have their share of bad seeds. The focus of my research is the tendency of male immigrants to turn to crime.

Male, because until recently, female roles in the grand scene of the crime underworld were purely marginal. Women were always part of international intrigue, espionage and sabotage, but that is a more international and more political scene, where as the world I am about to describe is one of fiscal purposes. The crime world of this nature varies from the small scale insurance scams that someone might pull while fighting for compensation for a fake injury in a car accident, to the grand scale of organized crime which covers some organizations that could create their wn armies and in a sense already have.

I am going to focus on this century because there is a sufficient amount of studies and documentation on the different subjects that I will cover. Also the time span is a large enough one to show any recurring trends and patterns. This century is also more analyzed, graphed, and categorized than any of the centuries before so it is easier to obtain the necessary research without having to do the fieldwork from scratch. Of course not all race groups will be represented since this is not supposed to be a book and only a few examples are needed to see the patterns.

In this research project I have set out to show that in this century, male immigrants into the United States go into crime not only for monetary reasons and their socioeconomic status in the society, but also because of the culture they bring with them from their homeland and their stagnant state of existence among the closed ethnic communities. Immigrant Communities To understand all this let us first take a look at the immigrant communities. We have all seen them on television and heard about them in music and movies.

Little Italy, Brighton Beach, Mexican Barrios, Spanish Harlem are all examples of this. And how can any town survive without a Chinatown. When immigrants come, they bring their culture and language with them and of course their food. This is a natural effect of migration. When one has to let go of everything he or she knows to move to another country, and the friends and family are gone, the air smells different, the food tastes different, the land looks different, and the people think differently, it is the basic instinct of human beings to cluster together and grab on to something familiar, i. their fellow expatriates. People from the same country tend to pick a part of town to live in and many of them stick around for generations. This is all a great effort to keep sane, but it tends to arrest the development of assimilation and acculturation. For instance, many people in the larger of these communities do not even speak English. Whereas for the older generations this might only be beneficial, the younger generations social mobility is stifled by this environment.

People that come here as children for example, and are placed in these communities, are likely to follow in the groups footsteps, and this accounts for ethnic skill differentials across generations, and this effectively lowers the flame under the melting pot from a full flame to a slow simmer (Borjas, 5). Pressures from Within and Without As if it was not difficult enough to get up and leave ones homeland and completely change the lifestyle one is accustomed to, there is also the element of proving oneself to others and himself.

The man is traditionally thought of as the breadwinner in virtually all cultures and once established in a new place of residence, he has to prove himself worthy of the title, and in many cases more so than he would have to in his home country. Now there is the extra pressure of proving his abilities to Americans, because now he is the outsider and many people, as silly as it is, associate an accent with lack of intelligence or skill, and there is always the attitude that the immigrants are forcing Americans out of jobs.

In a recent survey on migration motivation, 25% of respondents answered that they believe immigrants come to this country because of political instability in home country followed by a close second of 24% who responded to take advantage of the wealth of another country. (Migration Motivation) This type of view that the immigrants are here to take our jobs our land and our money is part of the reason that immigrants stay in communities that are composed of mmigrants like them selves and where they do not have to be reminded that they are unwelcome by many.

Not only is our model having difficulty finding a job and translating his degree, if he has one, but once he does get employment he is likely to be paid less because he is an immigrant and yet again have to work twice as hard to prove himself to his coworkers. There is pressure from the family because they want the spoils of American life, and of course the pressure of proving himself to the immigrants around him that are already established.

Many people cannot hold up to this pressure, especially when the opportunity for easy money is all around them. Crime is so easy to get into, whether one wants to do some illegal scheming as a one-time thing to get on his feet at first, or if one wants to make a lifestyle of it. It is easy money, and it is very attractive, because money is not only the ability to get material possessions, it is also an ego booster, especially for the person who is supposed to make it for the whole family.

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