August 24, 2015

Doubling Down on Racial Discrimination: The Racially Disparate Impacts of Crimmigration Law

I have a post on based on a longer article. An excerpt:

In many parts of the country, state and local police target Latina/os for criminal law enforcement efforts.  Those efforts include racial profiling of Latina/os in ordinary traffic stops, a phenomenon that has been referred to as “driving while brown.”  Latinos are especially vulnerable to arrest for minor traffic violations, such as driving without a license.  (Until recently, few states permitted undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.).  Consequently, it should not be surprising that, during the Obama presidency, the vast majority of the persons removed from the country consistently have been from Mexico and Central America, comprising a significantly higher percentage than those groups’ representation in the overall immigrant population in the United States.

The U.S. immigration removal system targets noncitizens who are involved in criminal activity. Relying on state and local police action, which many claim is racially biased due to such practices as racial profiling, the U.S. government removes nearly 400,000 noncitizens a year, with more than 95 percent from Mexico and Latin America (even though the overall immigrant population is much more diverse). State and local governments have resisted some of the federal government’s aggressive removal efforts through “sanctuary laws,” which are designed to build the trust in immigrant communities necessary for effective law enforcement by local police. Reforms in the immigration laws are necessary to reduce the racially disparate impacts of reliance on the criminal justice system for immigration removals.

View the full piece here on casetext.