Beyond enforcement: Welcomeness, local law enforcement, and immigrants

Linda M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Studies of local law enforcement actions toward immigrants show that while some cities engage in enforcement, many others do not. The extent and determinants of enforcement have been assessed, but these studies have not evaluated the full range of practices, including welcoming practices, toward immigrants. This article introduces the concept of "welcomeness," develops a framework for measuring it, and, using a nationwide survey of local police departments, examines how widely departments are welcoming (or unwelcoming) to immigrants. The data show that many police departments have consciously and deliberately developed practices intended to foster positive relationships between the police and immigrants and to encourage immigrants to call the police for assistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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