Policing and Immigration
"Policing Immigrant Communities in the United States." In William F.
McDonald (ed), Immigration, Crime and Justice. Emerald Publishing,
This chapter first examines some of the barriers limiting the ability of local police to work
effectively in heavily immigrant areas. It then describes how these barriers are exacerbated
by the presumed presence of significant concentrations of unauthorized migrants as well
as legal residents. Demands that local police in the United States become more involved
in enforcing immigration laws have become a point of great contention, because this
involvement runs at cross-purposes with community policing and other strategies to
engage more closely with the community. The magnitude of this conflict is illustrated by
current debate over “sanctuary cities.” These are communities where local officials have
resisted the enforcement priorities of the federal government, and have continued to
emphasize the role of the police in serving all residents.