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Beyond the Border and Into the Heartland: Spatial Patterning of U.S. Immigration Detention

Margot Moinester ()
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Margot Moinester: American Bar Foundation

Demography, 2018, vol. 55, issue 3, 1147-1193

Abstract: Abstract The expansion of U.S. immigration enforcement from the borders into the interior of the country and the fivefold increase in immigration detentions and deportations since 1995 raise important questions about how the enforcement of immigration law is spatially patterned across American communities. Focusing on the practice of immigration detention, the present study analyzes the records of all 717,160 noncitizens detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2008 and 2009—a period when interior enforcement was at its peak—to estimate states’ detention rates and examine geographic variation in detention outcomes, net of individual characteristics. Findings reveal substantial state heterogeneity in immigration detention rates, which range from approximately 350 detentions per 100,000 noncitizens in Connecticut to more than 6,700 detentions per 100,000 noncitizens in Wyoming. After detainment, individuals’ detention outcomes are geographically stratified, especially for detainees eligible for pretrial release. These disparities indicate the important role that geography plays in shaping individuals’ chances of experiencing immigration detention and deportation.

Keywords: Immigration detention; Interior enforcement; Deportation; Immigration policy; Spatial inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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