Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a 'Post-Racial' World

61 Pages Posted: 27 May 2015 Last revised: 16 Jun 2015

See all articles by Yolanda Vázquez

Yolanda Vázquez

University of Cincinnati - College of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Date Written: May 26, 2015


Over the last forty years, the concern over the relationship between noncitizens and criminality has reached epic proportions. Laws, policies, procedures, and rules have been developed, the immigration and criminal justice system have been employed, and billions of dollars have been spent towards detecting, detaining, prosecuting, and removing those who are targeted as posing “the greatest threat to the nation.” As a result, a “new” phenomenon emerged, crimmigration, that not only redesigned the criminal and immigration systems, but also brought about a cultural transformation in the United States — restructuring social categories, diminishing economic and political power, and perpetuating the marginalization of the largest minority population in the United States — Latinos.

Latinos, over the years, have consistently represented over 90% of those in immigration detention, prosecuted for immigration violations, and removed as “criminal aliens.” The consequences of crimmigration have resulted in the devastation of Latinos, their families, their communities, and the countries of their origin, thereby contributing to their inability to gain economic and political stability.

Despite the devastating impact that crimmigration has had on Latinos over the last 30 years, little has been written about its creation and use as a mechanism for continued racial subordination. This Article seeks to fill the void, exploring the way in which crimmigration restructures the relationship between Latinos and dominant society to ensure their marginalized status. By deconstructing and understanding crimmigration’s ties to racial subordination, methods to combat and end its destructive nature can be developed.

Keywords: crimmigration, immigration, criminal aliens, immigration violations, Latinos, racial formation and marginalization, criminal justice, crime, subordination, race, enforcement, post-racial

JEL Classification: K10, K42

Suggested Citation

Vázquez, Yolanda, Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a 'Post-Racial' World (May 26, 2015). Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 76, No. 3, 2015, U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 15-10, Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2610816, Available at SSRN:

Yolanda Vázquez (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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