Immigrants and Crime in the New Destinations

Immigrants and Crime in the New Destinations

Immigrants and Crime in the New Destinations

Immigrants and Crime in the New Destinations

Synopsis

Ferraro expands the current focus of the immigration-crime link to incorporate both the effect of immigration on anti-immigrant violence and the differential processes at work in new immigrant destinations. The findings on traditional crime are consistent with recent research and the community resource perspective, in that there is no observed effect of immigration on overall rates of crime, whether in traditional receiving areas or in new destinations. Analysis of anti-immigrant hate crimes suggests that while traditional receiving areas, especially those made up of older arrivals, may buffer residents from anti-immigrant attacks, immigrants in new destinations experience no such protections. Moreover, especially where the population is largely recently arrived, results suggest that immigrants in new destinations may be at heightened risk of victimization.

Excerpt

In recent years the link between immigration and crime has received renewed interest in academic research and public and political discourse, with the former tending to find little empirical support and the latter continuing to espouse a firm connection. Recent years have also witnessed the expansion of immigration to new destinations far from traditional ports of entry and settlement. While research has begun to address the implications of these new patterns of internal population shifts, the issue of their effect on crime has not been a major focus. Because these new destinations have limited histories of and experience with immigration, they likely lack mechanisms by which to aid in the incorporation process. Whether the lack of a connection between immigration and crime in traditional areas holds within new destinations warrants sociological attention. Moreover, the extant literature on the immigration-crime nexus has tended to address the issue from one direction: whether immigration increases rates of traditional crime via the supply of offenders. Comparatively little research has investigated the inverse: whether the process increases immigrant victimization. As immigrants increasingly settle outside of traditional receiving areas, and again, given the negative cultural context of reception, the potential for victimization is an important issue.

This research seeks to provide a broader account of the nature of immigration and crime by examining the potential effects within new settlement destinations and incorporating the issue of immigrant victimization. Expectations regarding immigration and crime have tended to flow from social disorganization theory, with recent results challenging its applicability. This research offers a test of social disorganization and a developing alternative view: the community resource perspective. Competing hypotheses regarding rates of . . .

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