New Research; More Crimes Go Unreported in Cities that Cooperate With ICE



Police officials and researchers have known for some time that many individuals in the Hispanic community are reluctant to contact police about crimes they have witnessed or suffered if the city has a policy of cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE]. That's why many city officials have elected to become "sanctuary cities" which don't automatically detain undocumented individuals so they can be turned over to ICE. They believe that a "sanctuary" policy increases trust between police and the Hispanic community which makes their city safer.


A new study published in the journal Political Behavior supports that theory. Looking at crime reporting statistics they found that cooperation with ICE increases the likelihood that some crimes will go unreported.

Springer, Political Behavior: "Does intensifying immigration enforcement lead to under-reporting of crime among undocumented immigrants and their communities? We empirically test the claims of activists and legal advocates that the escalation of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities in 2017 negatively impacted the willingness of undocumented immigrants and Hispanic communities to report crime. We hypothesize that ICE cooperation with local law enforcement, in particular, discourages undocumented immigrants and their Hispanic community members from reporting crime. Using a difference-in-difference approach and FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data at the county level, we find that total reported crime fell from 2016 to 2017 in counties with higher shares of Hispanic individuals and in counties where local law enforcement had more cooperation with ICE. Using the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), we show that these declines in the measured crime rate are driven by decreased crime reporting by Hispanic communities rather than by decreased crime commission or victimization. Finally, we replicate these results in a second case study by leveraging the staggered roll-out of the 2008–2014 Secure Communities program across US counties. Taken together, our findings add to a growing body of literature demonstrating how immigration enforcement reduces vulnerable populations’ access to state services, including the criminal justice system."

This study adds to the growing body of research that demonstrates that "sanctuary city" policies can enhance public safety and well-being, without increasing crime rates.

Washington Post: "Our findings are consistent with those of other recent work. For example, political scientist Tom K. Wong and co-authors find that undocumented immigrants were less likely to trust law enforcement officers who cooperate with ICE. Similarly, economists Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes and Esther Arenas-Arroyo find in a working paper that as immigration enforcement intensified, fewer immigrant women sought protection from domestic violence by petitioning for legal status under the Violence Against Women Act." ... "This too is consistent with work from other scholars, such as Ricardo D. Martínez-Schuldt and Daniel E. Martínez’s recent article and Loren Collingwood and Benjamin Gonzalez O’Brien’s 2019 book. Both find that sanctuary policies make Latino communities more willing to report crime — while immigration enforcement cooperation with police reduces willingness to report. Rather than promoting public health and safety, therefore, active cooperation between local authorities and ICE only further marginalizes both undocumented immigrants and their communities."

#criminaljustice #research #news

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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