New Destinations or Old Politics? Explaining Local Immigration Policing Practices in the United States
40 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2015
Date Written: July 23, 2012
Previous research suggests two factors that may help explain differences in local government policies directed toward immigrants: the anxieties of “new destinations” (areas that have experienced a rapid, recent rise in immigrant settlement), and the “old politics” of local partisanship and political pressure. In this paper, we examine a previously unexplored aspect of the local immigration policy dynamic: do “new destinations” or “old politics” help to explain why the practices of law-enforcement agencies regarding immigrants differ among communities? Using multivariate analyses of data from three nationwide surveys of county sheriffs and police chiefs in large and small cities in the United States, our findings provide stronger evidence for the political-pressure hypothesis, although with differences across the three sets of respondents.
Keywords: immigration, policing, new destinations, partisanship, devolution, enforcement
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