Over the last forty years, the concern over the relationship between noncitizens and criminality has reached epic proportions. Laws, policies, procedures, and rules have been developed, the immigration and criminal justice system have been employed, and billions of dollars have been spent towards detecting, detaining, prosecuting, and removing those who are targeted as posing “the greatest threat to the nation.” As a result, a “new” phenomenon emerged, crimmigration, that not only redesigned the criminal and immigration systems, but also brought about a cultural transformation in the United State —restructuring social categories, diminishing economic and political power, and perpetuating the marginalization of the largest minority population in the United States—Latinos.
Latinos, over the years, have consistently represented over 90% of those in immigration detention, prosecuted for immigration violations, and removed as “criminal aliens.” The consequences of crimmigration have resulted in the devastation of Latinos, their families, their communities, and the countries of their origin, thereby contributing to their inability to gain economic and political stability.
Despite the devastating impact that crimmigration has had on Latinos over the last 30 years, little has been written about its creation and use as a mechanism for continued racial subordination. This Article seeks to fill the void, exploring the way in which crimmigration restructures the relationship between Latinos and dominant society to ensure their marginalized status. By deconstructing and understanding crimmigration’s ties to racial subordination, methods to combat and end its destructive nature can be developed.
Vazquez, Yolanda, "Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a “Post-Racial” World" (2015). Faculty Articles and Other Publications. 254.