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Changing Boundaries of Law Enforcement: State and Local Law Enforcement, Illegal Immigration and Transnational Crime Control, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
496 pages
This study traces the history of the development of U.S. immigration policy and the role the police have played in the control of immigrants and crime as well as the restructuring of the Federal-State-local relationship with respect to illegal immigration.
As part of its analysis, it examines four paradigm shifts in thinking about the police, immigrants, and crime: globalization, victimology, human rights, and community policing. It conceptualizes the illegal immigration and local police connection as a node in a dense web of nodes with links to other nodes that compose complex problem sets. Illegal immigration is linked to legal immigration but also to transnational organized crime; prostitution; drug trafficking; sweatshops; slavery; document fraud; corruption; extortion; hate crime; witness non-cooperation; international flight to avoid prosecution; and the problems of cooperating with foreign criminal justice systems. The analysis is based on an in-depth review of the several bodies of literature related to the topic, as well as on a daily review of contemporary news items regarding national and international immigration reports. In addition, field observations and interviews were conducted in southern California, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Telephone interviews were also conducted with Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials as well as Mexican officials and human rights activists and minority representatives in a sample of jurisdictions. Overall, this study traces the sources of the American experience with immigration and suggests future trends in State and local law enforcement, immigration control, and the new world of transnational law enforcement cooperation. Chapter notes and 560 references

Date Published: January 1, 1999