Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1939506
 


 



The Paradox of Law Enforcement in Immigrant Communities: Does Tough Immigration Enforcement Undermine Public Safety?


David Kirk


University of Texas at Austin

Andrew V. Papachristos


Yale University - Department of Sociology

Jeffrey Fagan


Columbia Law School

Tom Tyler


Yale University - Law School

October 4, 2011

Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 11-281

Abstract:     
Frustrated by federal inaction on immigration reform, several U.S. states in recent years have proposed or enacted laws designed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and to facilitate their removal. An underappreciated implication of these laws is the potential alienation of immigrant communities - even law abiding, cooperative individuals - from the criminal justice system. The ability of the criminal justice system to detect and sanction criminal behavior is dependent upon the cooperation of the general public, including acts such as the reporting of crime and identifying suspects. Cooperation is enhanced when local residents believe that laws are enforced fairly. In contrast, research reveals that cynicism of the police and the legal system undermines individuals’ willingness to cooperate with the police and engage in the collective actions necessary to socially control crime. By implication, recent trends toward strict local enforcement of immigration laws may actually undercut public safety by creating a cynicism of the law in immigrant communities. Using data from a 2002 survey of New York City residents, this study explores the implications of perceived injustices perpetrated by the criminal justice system for resident willingness to cooperate with the police in immigrant communities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

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Date posted: October 6, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Kirk, David and Papachristos, Andrew V. and Fagan, Jeffrey and Tyler, Tom, The Paradox of Law Enforcement in Immigrant Communities: Does Tough Immigration Enforcement Undermine Public Safety? (October 4, 2011). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 11-281. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1939506 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1939506

Contact Information

David Kirk
University of Texas at Austin ( email )
Austin, TX 78712
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/prc/faculty/kirkds
Andrew V. Papachristos
Yale University - Department of Sociology ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
HOME PAGE: http://papachristos.org
Jeffrey Fagan (Contact Author)
Columbia Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-2624 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)
Tom Tyler
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
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