Removal Roulette: Secure Communities and Immigration Enforcement in the United States (2008–2012)

  • Juan Manuel PedrozaEmail author


Secure Communities (SComm) is a federal immigration enforcement program in the United States. The program enjoys support as a nationwide, neutral, and rational vehicle for enforcement. Yet place may make a difference in SComm enforcement outcomes. SComm figures reveal a divergence between places where removals target serious criminals versus places where removals cast a more universal net. Moreover, rates of removals vary greatly by location. Such divergence suggests that stated SComm priorities function less as a dam (as intended) and more as a water mill, whereby federal authorities place as many removable immigrants into removal proceedings as capacity allows. Uneven enforcement can propel a “removal roulette” whereby deportation can hinge on an immigrant detainee’s location and the type of offense committed. The resulting life as provisional existence means trying to stay out of trouble by erring on the side of caution at all times.


Immigration Enforcement Federal Immigration Enforcement Outcomes Water Mills Universal Enforcement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology Department MC2047Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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