A Multilayered Jurisdictional Patchwork: Immigration Federalism in the United States

36 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2010

See all articles by Monica Varsanyi

Monica Varsanyi

City University of New York (CUNY)

Paul G. Lewis

Arizona State University

Doris Provine

Arizona State University (ASU)

Scott Decker

Arizona State University (ASU)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2010

Abstract

This paper focuses on the immigration-related demands currently being placed on local police in the United States, and the emergence of what we call a “multilayered jurisdictional patchwork” (MJP) of immigration enforcement. The evolving relationship between layers of government involved in enforcing immigration laws, sometimes dubbed “immigration federalism,” has so far received more attention from legal scholars than from social scientists. Against this backdrop, we report results from nationwide surveys of city police chiefs and county sheriffs and intensive fieldwork in three jurisdictions. The enforcement landscape we describe is complicated by the varying and over-lapping responsibilities of sheriffs and city police, and by the tendency for sheriffs to maintain closer relationships with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities. We highlight the contradictions inherent in this patchwork through case studies of Mesa, Arizona; New Haven, Connecticut; and Raleigh, North Carolina. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of the MJP - for immigrants, for their communities, and for the evolving relationship between levels of government in the federal system.

Keywords: immigration federalism, United States, immigration politics

Suggested Citation

Varsanyi, Monica and Lewis, Paul G. and Provine, Doris and Decker, Scott, A Multilayered Jurisdictional Patchwork: Immigration Federalism in the United States (August 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1656530 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1656530

Monica Varsanyi (Contact Author)

City University of New York (CUNY) ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

Paul G. Lewis

Arizona State University ( email )

PO Box 873902
Tempe, AZ 85287-3902
United States

Doris Provine

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Scott Decker

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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