Do Mexican Immigrants Cause Crime?

There has been a lot of talk lately about immigration. In particular, about if immigrants cause crime in the cities they go to. Like a lot of controversial topics, this one is based mainly in anecdotes and exaggerations. Here is some data regarding the issue. In this post I look at the relationship between crime rates and Mexican immigrant population in 102 counties between 1980 and 2010. For a full methodology and the R code used to analyze the data, see below.

Downloading data from the FBI's UCR 2016

The FBI has recently (September 2017) released the raw files for UCR data for 2016. As usual, these files are in fixed-width ASCII files and do not come with a usable setup file. To make this data accessible, I made those setup files using the codebook provided by the FBI along with the raw data. Using the R package asciiSetupReader, I read the data into R and saved it in a number of data formats.