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Journal cover: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management

ISSN: 1363-951X
Previously published as: Police Studies: Intnl Review of Police Development
Incorporates: American Journal of Police

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Police and immigration enforcement: Impacts on Latino(a) residents' perceptions of police


Document Information:
Title:Police and immigration enforcement: Impacts on Latino(a) residents' perceptions of police
Author(s):Guadalupe Vidales, (Department of Criminology, University of Wisconsin, Parkside, Wisconsin, USA), Kristen M. Day, (Department of Planning, Policy, and Design, University of California – Irvine, Irvine, California, USA), Michael Powe, (Department of Planning, Policy, and Design, University of California – Irvine, Irvine, California, USA)
Citation:Guadalupe Vidales, Kristen M. Day, Michael Powe, (2009) "Police and immigration enforcement: Impacts on Latino(a) residents' perceptions of police", Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 32 Iss: 4, pp.631 - 653
Keywords:Ethnic groups, Immigration, Perception, Police, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13639510911000740 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This research was made possible by grants from the University of California, Irvine Community Outreach Partnership Center; UC Mexus; and the Center for Immigration Research, University of California, Irvine. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Professor John Dombrink, Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. The authors would also like to thank undergraduate Research Assistants Monica Vasallo, Cristal Montes, Vivian Gomez, Mike Lauria, Enrique Ruacho, Blanca Serrano, Sandra Gonzales, Maria Ceja-Bravo, Adriana Lira, Ciro Aguilar, Cecilia Preciado, Yanira Torrez, Louisa Ko, Adriana de la Torre, Helen Escalante, DeAnna Cano, Therese Lee, Gerardo Rios, Polly Vigil, Natalie Lopez, and the community leaders and participants from Costa Mesa who took part in this study.
Abstract:

Purpose – Recent years have witnessed a national policy shift towards involving state and local police in enforcing US federal immigration laws. Critics argue that involving local police in enforcing immigration law will decrease Latino(a) and immigrant residents' willingness to report crime and their cooperation with the police, and will also increase racial profiling and negatively impact documented and undocumented residents. This paper aims to examine Latino(a) residents' perceptions of the police before and after an extended local controversy about involving police in enforcing immigration laws in Costa Mesa, California.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports findings of a before-and-after study in the Westside area of the City of Costa Mesa, California. Methods include Spanish and English language telephone surveys of Latino(a) and non-Latino(a) residents in the Westside (n=169 respondents before and n=91 respondents after), conducted in 2002 and in 2007.

Findings – In survey responses, Latino(a) residents report that they are more likely to be stopped by the police in 2007 compared to 2002. Latino(a) respondents also have more negative perceptions of the police, find the police less helpful, feel less accepted in the community, and say that they are less likely to report crimes after the controversy, compared to before.

Originality/value – The findings show the importance of policies that encourage cooperation with and trust of the police. These results can help inform cities about the potential impacts of involving local police in immigration enforcement.



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