Immigration and School Threat? Exploring the Significance of the Border

Janice Iwama, Anthony A. Peguero, Miner P.“Trey” Marchbanks, John M. Eason, Jamilia Blake, Jienian Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The current study examines the relationship between immigration, school punishment, and place in schools near the U.S.-Mexico border using a racial threat framework. Given the consequences of the immigration-crime link and the growing perception of the U.S.-Mexico border as a crime-ridden place, this study explores how immigration within certain places may differentially impact outcomes of school punishment. Methods: Using Generalized Linear Modeling (GLM) with a logistic link function, we examine the relationship between immigration and school violence by probing variation in school punishment and juvenile justice referrals across Texas schools given their proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border. Results: First, we find that Texas schools located near the U.S.-Mexico border have lower juvenile justice and school discipline rates net other variables in comparison to Texas schools away from the border. Second, we observe a negative relationship between a rise in the immigrant student population and punishment in Texas schools far from the U.S.-Mexico border and no relationship in Texas schools near the U.S.-Mexico border net of other factors. Conclusion: The current study highlights that the local context, such as proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, is significant when examining the racial threat perspective in school punishment and warrants further attention in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • juvenile delinquency
  • race/ethnicity
  • school crimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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