Border Apprehensions and Federal Sentencing of Hispanic Citizens in the United States

74 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2023

See all articles by Simone Bertoli

Simone Bertoli

Université d'Auvergne - Clermont 1 - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Developpement International (CERDI)

Morgane Laouénan

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jérôme Valette

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES)

Abstract

We provide evidence that Hispanic citizens receive significantly longer sentences than non-Hispanic citizens in the Federal Criminal Justice System in the United States when a higher number of illegal aliens are apprehended along the southwest border. Apprehensions can increase the salience of Hispanic ethnic identity, which is associated with persistent negative stereotypes, and can also deteriorate attitudes toward Hispanics. We rule out concerns that apprehensions might be conveying legally relevant information to judges. Thus, we provide direct evidence for time-varying discrimination toward Hispanic defendants. Our estimated effect is only at play for defendants without a heavy previous criminal record.

Keywords: immigration, ethnic identity, discrimination, attitudes, salience, sentences

JEL Classification: K42, J15, F22

Suggested Citation

Bertoli, Simone and Laouénan, Morgane and Valette, Jérôme, Border Apprehensions and Federal Sentencing of Hispanic Citizens in the United States. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15866, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4324188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4324188

Simone Bertoli (Contact Author)

Université d'Auvergne - Clermont 1 - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Developpement International (CERDI) ( email )

65 Boulevard Francois Mitterrand
63000 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1
France

Morgane Laouénan

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jérôme Valette

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'hopital
106-112 Boulevard de l'Hôpital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

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