Immigration reform should consider families, social ties, prof says

Aug 10, 2013

Immigration judges should be allowed to consider a person's family and social ties to the United States before ordering the deportation of legal permanent residents for minor offenses, says a professor at the University of California, Merced.

"The reason legal permanent residents can be deported for minor crimes—even if they have lived in the United States for many years—is that there is little to no due process in immigration courts," sociology Professor Tanya Golash-Boza said. "Under current laws, if a person has a prior conviction for a wide range of crimes, the judge has no ."

Ninety-eight percent of all deportees are sent to Latin America and the Caribbean even though people from those countries do not make up 98 percent of all immigrants, she said.

"U.S. deportation policies are draconian and target specific populations," Golash-Boza said. "Unfortunately, in the current immigration reform debate, this has little chance of changing."

At the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Golash-Boza will present her paper, "The Deportation of 1.5 Generation Immigrants: Policing, Profiling, and Assimilation," which focuses on male immigrants from Jamaica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.

Golash-Boza interviewed about 130 men who were born outside the U.S., immigrated legally at a young age, and grew up within the country. They fall between being first- and second-generation immigrants; they're 1.5-generation immigrants.

Jamaican and Dominican immigrants often live in heavily policed neighborhoods, and are more likely to be picked up on drug charges, Golash-Boza said. Even though Jamaicans and Dominicans use drugs at similar rates to other immigrants, they are more likely to face for drug convictions because of where they live and because of . As an immigrant, a person's mistakes have much more serious consequences for the individual and for family members who remain in the United States, according to Golash-Boza.

"It is jarring for people to be deported if they have spent 40 of their 42 years in the U.S.," she said. "For many of the deportees, they were the primary breadwinners and now have to live apart from their families—and know that they and their families live in poverty."

Explore further: Study shows how texas campus police tackle stalking

More information: The paper, "The Deportation of 1.5 Generation Immigrants: Policing, Profiling, and Assimilation," will be presented on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2:30 p.m. EDT in New York City at the American Sociological Association's 108th Annual Meeting.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researcher: deportation affects children

Jul 17, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Children suffer the most serious emotional and physical consequences from U.S. deportation policies, a University at Albany researcher finds.

Immigration status affects educational achievement

May 29, 2013

Mexican American mothers' formal immigration status affects the educational achievement of their children and even their grandchildren, according to a study written by Penn State and University of California, Irvine, sociologists ...

Recommended for you

New poll reveals what Americans fear most

6 hours ago

Chapman University has initiated the first comprehensive nationwide study on what strikes fear in Americans in the first of what is a planned annual study. According to the Chapman poll, the number one fear in America today ...

Study shows how texas campus police tackle stalking

6 hours ago

One out of every five female students experience stalking victimization during their college career, but many of those cases are not reported to police, according to a study by the Crime Victims' Institute ...

How large-scale technology projects affect knowledge

9 hours ago

What do an accelerator complex at Cern, a manufacturing center in 19th century Philadelphia and lotus cultivation during the Qing dynasty all have in common? All such activities generate knowledge and know-how. ...

User comments : 0