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Latinos and the Crimmigration System

Race, Ethnicity and Law

ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4, eISBN: 978-1-78714-603-7

Publication date: 25 May 2017



This chapter argues that the crimmigration system is a social control apparatus that disproportionately punishes and racializes Latino immigrants, with important implications for research on assimilation.


We support our argument with research in sociology, geography, political science, anthropology, criminology, and law.


This chapter outlines how two spheres of the US legal system – immigration law and criminal law – have converged into a crimmigration system that punishes Latinos and their descendants. Migration scholars have historically relied on theories of assimilation to explain the fate of immigrants and their descendants. In today’s era of immigration enforcement, we argue that it is critically important for scholars to consider how the crimmigration system racializes Latinos, defines them as undeserving of national membership, and hardens racial boundaries.


By bringing together research on international migration, race, crimmigration, and assimilation, this chapter integrates various substantive areas that are not often in conversation with one another.



Armenta, A. and Vega, I.I. (2017), "Latinos and the Crimmigration System", Race, Ethnicity and Law (Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 221-236.



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