Policing immigrant communities: Latino perceptions of police involvement in immigration enforcement

  • Theodore N
  • Habans R
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Using data from a survey of 2004 Latinos in four urban counties in the USA, this paper considers a question that has not been systematically investigated: how has increasing police involvement in immigration enforcement impacted the perceptions of the police that are held by immigrant and non-immigrant Latinos? Survey results indicate that many Latinos report fear of police, contributing to their social isolation and exacerbating their mistrust of law enforcement authorities. A substantial portion of Latino respondents report that they would be less likely to voluntarily contact the police if they are the victim of a crime, or to provide information about a crime, because they fear that police would use this contact as an opportunity to investigate their immigration status or that of their friends and family members. We use regression analysis to further analyse the determinants of these responses. Our findings suggest that negative encounters with police involving questions of immigration status ...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Immigration enforcement
  • community policing
  • context of migration
  • immigration control
  • secure communities programme

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  • Nik Theodore

  • Robert Habans

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