Latino Immigrant Acculturation and Crime
- 1.4k Downloads
Recent debate on the future of immigration policy in the United States has spawned much discussion on social costs and consequences for immigrants, such as employment, education, health care, and most notably, crime. Although recent Latino immigrants are often portrayed as outsiders in popular media, their successful acculturation into the American way of life may present more crime-related risk rather than less. This study examines arrest records for Latinos in two southwestern American cities to determine the extent to which Latino acculturation is related to arrests and convictions for both misdemeanors and felonies after controlling for certain legal and extra-legal factors. Results indicate that acculturation is consistently and positively associated with all four crime-related outcomes in this sample. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.
KeywordsImmigration Crime Arrest Acculturation Latino
The authors are grateful to Alex Piquero for feedback on an earlier draft. A previous version of this paper was presented at the American Society of Criminology annual meeting in November 2008.
- Beck, R. (1996). The case against immigration. New York: Norton and Company.Google Scholar
- Feagin, J., & Feagin, C. B. (2012). Racial & ethnic relations (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Gordon, M. (1964). Assimilation in American life: The role of race, religion, and national origins. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Grogger, J. T. (1998). Immigration and crime among young black men: Evidence from the national longitudinal survey of youth. In D. S. Hamermesh & F. D. Bean (Eds.), Help or hindrance? The economic implications of immigration for African Americans (pp. 322–341). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Hunter, S. B., Wong, E., Beighley, C. M., & Morral, A. R. (2006). Acculturation and driving under the influence: a study of repeat offenders. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67, 458–464.Google Scholar
- Kotkin, J. (2000). Movers and shakers: How immigrants are reviving neighborhoods given up for dead. Reason.com http://reason.com/archives/2000/12/01/movers-and-shakers. Accessed June 30, 2012.
- Martinez, R. (2000). Immigration and urban violence: the link between immigrant Latinos and types of homicide. Social Science Quarterly, 81, 363–374.Google Scholar
- Martinez, R., & Lee, M. T. (2000a). On immigration and crime. In G. LaFree (Ed.), The nature of crime: Continuity and change, Vol. I: Criminal justice 2000 (pp. 485–524). Washington: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
- Miller, W. B. (1990). Why the United States has failed to solve its youth gang problem. In C. R. Huff (Ed.), Gangs in America (pp. 263–287). Newbury Park: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Moore, J., & Pinderhughes, R. (1993). In the Barrios Latinos: Latinos and the underclass debate. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Morenoff, J. D., & Astor, A. (2006). Immigrant assimilation and crime: Generational differences in youth violence in Chicago. In R. Martinez Jr. & A. Valenzuela Jr. (Eds.), Immigration and crime: Race, ethnicity, and violence (pp. 36–63). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- O’Kane, J. M. (1992). The crooked ladder: Gangsters, ethnicity, and the American dream. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
- Park, R. E., & Burgess, E. W. (1924). Introduction to the science of society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Pennell, S., Curtis, C., & Tayman, J. (1990). Illegal immigration and crime in San Diego and El Paso counties, 1985–1986 [Computer file]. San Diego, CA: Criminal Justice Research Unit, San Diego Association of Governments [producer], 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].Google Scholar
- Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2001). Legacies: The story of the immigrant second generation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Ramirez, R. R., & de la Cruz, G. P. (2003). The Hispanic population in the United States: March 2002 (Current Population Report P20-545). Washington: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
- Rosenfeld, M., & Tienda, M. (1999). Mexican Immigration, occupational niches, and labor-market competition: evidence from Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta, 1970–1990. In F. Bean & S. Bell-Rose (Eds.), Immigration and opportunity: Race, ethnicity, and employment in the United States (pp. 64–105). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Sampson, R. J., & Lauritsen, J. L. (1997). Racial and ethnic disparities in crime and criminal justice in the United States. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Ethnicity, crime and immigration: Comparative and cross-national perspectives (pp. 311–374). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Sellin, T. (1938). Culture conflict and crime. New York: Social Science Research Council.Google Scholar
- Shaw, C., & McKay, H. D. (1943). Juvenile delinquency in urban areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Sullivan, S., Schwartz, S. J., Prado, G., Huang, S., Pantin, H., & Szapocznik, J. (2007). A bidimensional model of acculturation for examining differences in family functioning and behavior problems in Hispanic immigrant adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 27, 69–77.Google Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2004). Projected population of the United States, by race and Hispanic origin: 2000–2050. Available at: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/usinterimproj/natprojtab01a.pdf. (Last accessed June 26, 2012).
- Won Kim, C., Hofstetter, C., Kang, M., Hovell, M. F., & Irvin, V. (2009). Rethinking acculturation: a study of alcohol use of Korean American adolescents in Southern California. Contemporary Drug Problems, 36(1/2), 217–244.Google Scholar