Federal Sentencing of Hispanic Defendants in Changing Immigrant Destinations
46 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2018
Scholars have found evidence of disparities in criminal punishment disadvantaging Hispanic defendants, especially Hispanic non-citizens. Research has also shown that federal punishment disparity between Hispanic and white defendants varies according to federal district court contexts. Recent scholarship has drawn distinctions between traditional Hispanic immigrant destinations and new or emerging immigrant destinations, and depicted the reception of Hispanic immigrants in new immigrant destinations as less welcoming and supportive than in traditional destinations. We examine whether federal courts in different Hispanic immigrant destination types exhibit differing levels of Hispanic citizen and non-citizen sentencing disadvantage circa 2000, and then circa 2010. We find that traditional destinations exhibit little or no Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic disparity. But Hispanic non-citizens especially received longer sentences in new destinations and in non-immigrant destinations, both circa 2000 and 2010. By contrast, the emerging immigrant destinations of 2010-2012 did not sentence Hispanic citizens and non-citizens significantly differently from traditional destinations.
Keywords: Sentencing, Federal Courts, Immigration, Race and Ethnicity
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