Part I of this Article considers parallel developments in the law that contribute to what can be characterized as the emergence of nothing less than a Latina/o removal system. It first considers the Supreme Court’s implicit sanctioning of race-conscious law enforcement in the United States, with the centerpiece of this symposium, Whren v. United States, perhaps the most well-known example. Second, it summarizes the trend over the last twenty years toward greatly increased cooperation between state and local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration enforcement authorities. Part I proceeds to analyze how and why an increasing number of state and local governments through what are popularly known as “sanctuary laws” have rejected unrestricted cooperation by law enforcement with federal immigration authorities. Despite the “sanctuary” moniker attached to these laws, effective policing—even though influenced to a certain extent by sympathy for the devastating impacts of removals on the lives of immigrants—is the policy rationale most commonly embraced by local political leaders and law enforcement officers for these laws and policies.
Part II demonstrates how local criminal arrests and prosecutions influenced by police reliance on race inexorably contribute to the racially disparate removal rates experienced in the modern United States. Part III of this Article concludes by contending that law- and policy-makers should devote greater attention to the racially disparate impacts of tightly linking removals of immigrants to a racially suspect criminal justice system. It sketches a number of possible reforms— some that are relatively small and incremental in nature, others more far-reaching—to the U.S. immigration laws that would tend to blunt, rather than exacerbate, the anti-Latina/o impacts of the modern American immigration state.
Kevin R. Johnson,
Doubling Down on Racial Discrimination: The Racially Disparate Impacts of Crime-Based Removals, 66 Case W. Rsrv. L. Rev. 993 (2016)
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/caselrev/vol66/iss4/8