A look ahead to ICPC’s 4th International Report

Author(s) : International Centre for the Prevention of Crime

ICPC’s 4th International Report will be launched this fall. The Report focuses on the increasing migration of people and its impact on local urban communities, and features a series of related sub-topics, including the movement of indigenous peoples to urban areas, human trafficking and its local manifestation, and intimate partner violence (against women). Here are some highlights from the central theme of migration. 

The criminalization of migration

There is a growing consensus among analysts that, since the end of the 1990s, the issue of migration in northern countries has been subject to an increasing process of criminalization, particularly with respect to irregular immigrants. This criminalization has taken one of two forms: as a legislative transformation of immigration – particularly irregular immigration – from an administrative error to an offense in itself; or via the frequent association of immigrants to delinquency in public debates, thus encouraging the perception that immigrants commit more crime than domestic populations.

However, new studies using the latest methodologies are demonstrating that migration does not increase crime in the country of destination, but may actually reduce it. Not only does this challenge the second form mentioned above, but it has also led researchers to suspect that immigration, contrary to statements by officials and the media, can revitalize and protect neighborhoods and cities in which migrants settle. Foreigners settling in a neighborhood are able to foster social relationships within the community and the local economy, set up community institutions such as churches, schools, and other organizations centered on immigrants, and strengthen social control while reducing crime.

More information in our next international report.

Ten articles not to be missed on the subject:


  1. Koper, C. S., Guterbock, T. M., Woods, D. J., Taylor, B., & Carter, T. J. (2013). The Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement on Crime and Disorder. Criminology & Public Policy, 12(2), 239–276.
  2. Kubrin, C. E., & Ousey, G. C. (2009). Immigration and homicide in urban America: what’s the connection? In Sociology of Crime Law and Deviance (Vol. 13, pp. 17–32).
  3. Lee, M. T., & Martinez, R. (2009). Immigration reduces crime: an emerging scholarly consensus. In Sociology of Crime Law and Deviance (Vol. 13, pp. 3–16).
  4. Lyons, C., Velez, M., & Santoro, W. A. (2013). Neighborhood Immigration, Violence, and City-Level Immigrant Political Opportunities. American Sociological Review, 78(4), 604–632.
  5. MacDonald, J. M., Hipp, J. R., & Gill, C. (2013). The effects of immigrant concentration on changes in neighborhood crime rates. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 1–25.
  6. Martinez, R., Stowell, J. I., & Lee, M. T. (2010). Immigration and crime in an era of transformation: a longitudinal analysis of homicides in San Diego neighborhoods, 1980–2000*. Criminology, 48(3), 797–829.
  7. Palidda, S. (2009). Criminalisation et Victimisation des Migrants en Europe. Consulté à l’adresse
  8. Sampson, R. J. (2008). Rethinking crime and immigration. Contexts, 7(1), 28–33.
  9. Vaughn, M. G., Salas-Wright, C. P., DeLisi, M., & Maynard, B. R. (2013). The immigrant paradox: immigrants are less antisocial than native-born Americans. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.
  10. Zatz, M. S., & Smith, H. (2012). Immigration, Crime, and Victimization: Rhetoric and Reality. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8(1), 141–159.