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Crime and Enforcement in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City

31 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2012  

Garth Davies

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - School of Criminology

Jeffrey Fagan

Columbia Law School

Date Written: January 17, 2012

Abstract

Immigration and crime have received much popular and political attention in the past decade, and have been a focus of episodic social attention for much of the history of the U.S. Recent policy and legal discourse suggests that the stigmatic link between immigrants and crime has endured, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. This study addresses the relationship between immigration and crime in urban settings, focusing on areal units where immigrants tend to cluster spatially as well as socially. We ask whether immigration creates risks or benefits for neighborhoods in terms of lower crime rates. The question is animated in part by a durable claim in criminology that areas with large immigrant populations are burdened by elevated levels of social disorder and crime. In contrast, more recent theory and research suggests that “immigrant neighborhoods” may simply be differentially organized and function in a manner that reduces the incidence of crime. Accordingly, this research investigates whether immigrants are associated with differences in area crime rates. In addition, we ask whether there are differences in the effects of immigration on neighborhood crime rates by the racial and ethnic makeup of the foreign born populations. Finally, we examine the effects of immigration on patterns of enforcement.

Keywords: Immigration, ethnicity, law enforcement, generalized propensity scores

Suggested Citation

Davies, Garth and Fagan, Jeffrey, Crime and Enforcement in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City (January 17, 2012). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 12-292. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1987096 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1987096

Garth Davies

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - School of Criminology ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Jeffrey Fagan (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2624 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/fac/Jeffrey_Fagan

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