chapter  40
14 Pages

The role of critical criminology in confronting the "war on immigration"

WithDaniel E. Martínez

This chapter examines the social problems stemming directly and indirectly from the "war on immigration". The contemporary so-called "war on immigration," not immigration itself, has been the source of notable social harms. Criminology as a discipline aims to understand the etiology of social harms. Immigrants have long been scapegoated as being the source of various social ills in the United States, including crime. However, an extensive body of sociological research spanning several decades has largely negated the immigration-crime link in the US context. Despite the robust findings across studies consistently disproving the alleged immigration-crime link, the fallacy persists and continues to shape the way in which the United States has approached immigration control in the interior of the country as well as along the US–Mexico border. In a similar vein, increasing transparency and accountability when it comes to immigration officials' excessive use-of-force against immigrants while in US custody may help alleviate an institutionalized culture of routine abuse and mistreatment.