Sessions Lies About Study on Crime and Sanctuary Cities

Here’s a shock: Jeff Sessions lied about something. No, not his meetings with Russia this time, but about a study that he claims showed that sanctuary cities have higher rates of violent crime than non-sanctuary cities. The authors of the study call him out for distorting their conclusions:


On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech in Las Vegas on sanctuary cities and local law enforcement. He announced, “According to a recent study from the University of California, Riverside, cities with these policies have more violent crime on average than those that don’t.” Almost certainly, the reference is to our study, which we first published here at the Monkey Cage in The Washington Post last October and later in the academic outlet Urban Affairs Review.

The attorney general’s summation of our study, however, is not true. In fact, our study suggests a different conclusion: Municipalities that chose to designate themselves as sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants experience crime rates no higher than they otherwise would. We state this clearly throughout our study.

How could our findings have been so misrepresented? Although we do not know for sure, it is possible that Sessions’s speechwriters at the Department of Justice based this inaccurate characterization on an article published on Fox News or an article published on World Net Daily.

In the WND article, the author mischaracterized and repackaged our findings. She simply ignored the statistical uncertainty underlying our analyses — something loosely akin to ignoring the margin of error in polling. She then claimed that sanctuary cities had higher crime rates than non-sanctuary cities, ignoring the fact that these differences were not large enough to be statistically significant. This erroneous conclusion contributed to an increasingly popular but inaccurate narrative that sanctuary cities — and their immigrant populations — are dangerous…

In short, we find no evidence that crime is higher in cities that become sanctuaries. We hope that the attorney general will accurately state that finding in the future.

And the lie originated with the Worldnetdaily. If that surprises you, you must be new here. And yeah, good luck with getting Sessions, or the Worldnetdaily, to be accurate about anything when lies support their agenda.

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