Immigration Enforcement, Crime, and Community Trust

Awarded Scholars:
Emily Weisburst , University of California, Los Angeles
Felipe Goncalves, University of California, Los Angeles
Project Date:
Feb 2021
Award Amount:

Co-funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York

Economist Emily Weisburst and her colleagues will use data on crime victimization and 911 call data to examine the impact of immigration enforcement policies on both crime rates and community trust (crime reporting). The investigators hypothesize that the largest responses to immigration enforcement will be in Hispanic communities and that the effects will be more salient among the foreign-born and in communities with a large share of undocumented immigrants. To identify the effects of immigration enforcement on both crime and victim reporting, the investigators will analyze the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) for 2005 through 2015. This annual survey provides data on victimizations, reported and unreported to the police, for a nationally representative sample of about 50-60,000 households. Respondents who report being the victim of a crime are then asked if they reported it to the police. They will also analyze detailed data on 911 calls and crime incident reports that they are hand-collecting through open records requests to police departments in many large cities.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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