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Undocumented Immigration, Crime, and Recidivism

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $396,194)

The goals of this project are to answer these questions: 1) How does the criminality of unauthorized immigrants compare to that of legal residents or to native-born citizens? 2) Does this differ by offense type? 3) How has unauthorized immigrant criminality changed over time, particularly in the wake of stepped-up enforcement under the Trump administration? 4) How often do unauthorized immigrants recidivate? 5) How does criminal sanctioning affect recidivism among the unauthorized? These questions will be addressed by completing three related tasks.

First, the applicant plans to examine the criminality of unauthorized immigrants in reference to legal residents and native-born citizens in the state of Texas. Second, the applicant will examine how immigrant criminality has changed over time, particularly amid the expanded enforcement priorities under President Trump (2017-2018). This task will compare data from two states with different immigration enforcement practices and policies, Texas and California. Next, the applicant will describe the recidivism patterns of unauthorized immigrants and the extent to which the recidivism patterns differ by criminal sanction.

The sources of data for this study come from two states: 1) Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Computerized Criminal History System (CCH) and 2) California Office of the Criminal Offender Record Information Program (CORI). The CCH dataset, which includes legal status data for arrestees, is able to provide descriptive information on arrest, conviction, recidivism, and the case processing of unauthorized immigrants. CORI provides complete criminal history information for all arrestees between 2011 and 2018. Leveraging these data sources, this proposed study will address each of five research questions described above.

"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 26, 2019