Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost: Immigration Enforcement’s Failed Experiment with Penal Severity

Teresa A. Miller

SUNY Buffalo Law School

January 4, 2011

Fordham Urban Law Journal, Forthcoming
Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-010

This article traces the evolution of “get tough” sentencing and corrections policies that were touted as the solution to a criminal justice system widely viewed as “broken” in the mid-1970s. It draws parallels to the adoption some twenty years later of harsh, punitive policies in the immigration enforcement system to address perceptions that it is similarly “broken,” policies that have embraced the theories, objectives and tools of criminal punishment, and caused the two systems to converge. In discussing the myriad of harms that have resulted from the convergence of these two systems, and the criminal justice system’s recent shift away from severity and toward harm reduction, this article suggests that the criminal justice system has been more proactive in compensating for its excesses than the immigration enforcement system and discusses the reasons why.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: crimmigration, criminal immigration law, immigration, convergence, criminal procedure, get tough, criminal justice

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Date posted: January 16, 2011 ; Last revised: September 25, 2011

Suggested Citation

Miller, Teresa A., Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost: Immigration Enforcement’s Failed Experiment with Penal Severity (January 4, 2011). Fordham Urban Law Journal, Forthcoming; Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1738665

Contact Information

Teresa A. Miller (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-2391 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)

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