Refugees and Crime

By Madison Michna

Donald Trump’s recent executive order commonly known as the “Muslim ban” reflects a deeper fear of many American citizens that with refugees comes an increase in crime and terrorism. Here are some little known facts to clear up the air:

There seems to be no correlation between refugees and crime.            

Data was taken from the U.S. Department of State’s Worldwide Refugee Processing System and used to calculate the 10 cities in the U.S. that received the most refugees relative to the size of their populations between 2006 and 2015. Data was also taken from the Federal Bureau of Investigations to see what happened to the overall crime rates of those cities. It revealed that nine out of ten communities became safer over the course of these years with the increased refugee population.


Also, Donald Trump criticized Germany for their refugee policy in the decision to welcome more than a million refugees, saying that “Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever, ever see. It is a catastrophe.” However, statistics compiled by the German Interior Ministry showed the number of crimes reported in 2015 remained essentially unchanged. In fact, if anything there has been an increase in attacks on refugees starting in 2015 and into 2016. 970 attacks on asylum accommodation centers and 2,396 crimes against refugees outside of their residences have been recorded.

Refugee does not mean terrorist.

According to risk analysis research conducted by the think tank Cato Institute, the chances of being killed by a refugee are 1 in 3.64 billion, or 0.000000028%. Out of 3,252,493 refugees that came to the U.S. from 1975 to 2015, there were 20 terrorists, or 0.00062%. Of these, three of the confirmed terrorists carried out attacks that killed a total of three people.


New American Economy

Migration Policy Institute


Deutsche Welle

The New York Times

Cato Institute