CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Connection Between Illegal Immigration and Crime

The New York Times editorial headlined Wrong Paths to Immigration Reform, in arguing against decentralized enforcement of immigration laws, offers the following suggestions:

Rather than broadening the reach of law enforcement, using local police can cause immigrant crime victims to fear the police and divert the police from fighting crime. It leads to racial profiling, to Latino citizens and legal residents being asked for their papers. Responsible sheriffs and police chiefs across the country have looked at 287(g) and said no thanks.

Programs like 287(g) rest on the dishonest premise that illegal immigrants are a vast criminal threat. But only a small percentage are dangerous felons. The vast majority are those whom President Obama has vowed to help get right with the law, by paying fines and earning citizenship. Treating the majority of illegal immigrants as potential Americans, not a criminal horde, is the right response to the problem.

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