The Wonkblog at The Washington Post writes that while Americans believe crime is increasing, it is actually lower than previously. No reasons were given for this decline.
A perhaps temporary exception to the decline is the rising murder rate, which it argues is maybe just normal fluctuation (i.e., "noise" in statistics-speak). I'm unconvinced, as is our President. The nearly-every-weekend "butcher's bill" from Chicago tends to focus our attention on urban, gang-related shootings.
Thinking about causes, one reason for the decline in overall crime rates is the aging of our population. Crime is mostly associated with the young, fewer young = fewer crimes.
One reason immigrants are often associated with crime is that, on balance, immigrants are younger than the rest of us. Of course, it is also true that a criminal past in whatever country they're fleeing can be a motive to emigrate.
It is unfortunate more of our criminals don't seek to emigrate; perhaps it is a behavior we should encourage, even facilitate. We'd rather they became someone else's problem, see the post about Gov. Walker below.