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This paper examines the devolution of immigration enforcement practices in four states: Arizona, California, New York, and Texas. The author analyzes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation and apprehension statistics, as well as individual state ordinances to determine whether an immigrant has an increased chance of being deported based on where they live. States cannot change federal immigration statutes, but they can pass legislation that can limit enforcement and accommodate or deter coming migrants. Such laws directly impact the quality of life an immigrant leads in a given state. The diverse range of ordinances across the U.S. has created an uneven landscape of “sanctuary” and “risk” zones, where an undocumented immigrant’s chance of being detained or deported vary significantly. This has caused both legal and illegal immigrants to flock to designated sanctuary states and cities; their clustering in particular areas ultimately influences the public policy decisions of state legislatures.


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19 Jul 2022
345 kB



  • Alternative title
    • Exploring Immigrant (In)Security: Arizona, California, New York, and Texas

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 97

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Stephanie Pedron earned her MA in Social Science with a concentration in Political Science at Georgia Southern University. She will be joining the Political Science PhD program at The Ohio State University in Fall 2021.