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Case Tracking Study Documentation: Illegal Immigration and Crime in San Diego and El Paso Counties, FY 1985-1986 - A User's Guide to the Machine-Readable Files and Documentation and Original Instrument

NCJ Number
Date Published
26 pages
The major purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between rising crime rates and the influx of undocumented aliens in the border areas of El Paso County, Texas, and San Diego County, California.
Case tracking forms were used to gather information on 6,699 arrests in the two counties, 2,268 arrest cases in El Paso County and 4,431 arrest cases in San Diego County. The focus was on felony offenses, including Federal Bureau of Investigation index crimes of homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, grand theft, and motor vehicle theft. In addition, the study considered stolen property and felony drug offenses. In San Diego County, disposition data were collected on all arrestees identified as possible aliens and for a like number of randomly selected citizen arrestees. A total of 128 variables shed light on such areas as sociodemographic characteristics, citizenship status, current arrest characteristics, and prior criminal history. Variables included sex, ethnicity, and relationship to victim; highest arrest charge, highest conviction charge, additional charges, and prior arrests and convictions; citizenship status and Immigration and Naturalization Service hold; initial custody status, pretrial custody time, sentence type, and sentence days; and prosecutor decision, reason complaint was rejected, and highest complaint charge. In San Diego, additional variables included type of court hearing the case, number of defendants, presentence days, consolidation of cases, use of interpreters, reports prepared for the court, police testimony, witnesses, jury trials, and defense fees. Data were collected using a two-page case tracking form. Although data resulting from the analysis are tabulated separately, a data completeness and consistency report and the study instrument are included. Appendixes contain supplemental information on data collection and documentation. 1 reference and 5 tables

Date Published: January 1, 1990