On the frontier of local law enforcement: Local police and federal immigration law

Scott Decker, Paul Lewis, Doris M. Provine, Monica W. Varsanyi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

35 Scopus citations


Purpose: Some local governments are asking their police departments to enforce federal immigration law more aggressively. However, there is little research or policy guidance available to assist police in balancing local immigration enforcement with the norms of community-oriented policing. Methodology: This paper presents results from a national survey of municipal police chiefs. Findings: The survey responses indicate substantial differences in the way that police departments are approaching unauthorized immigration. Implications: The highly varied nature of policing practice on this issue is a function of the lack of clear policy guidance and models for local enforcement of immigration law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationImmigration, Crime and Justice
EditorsWilliam McDonald
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

Publication series

NameSociology of Crime Law and Deviance
ISSN (Print)1521-6136


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

Decker, S., Lewis, P., Provine, D. M., & Varsanyi, M. W. (2009). On the frontier of local law enforcement: Local police and federal immigration law. In W. McDonald (Ed.), Immigration, Crime and Justice (pp. 261-276). (Sociology of Crime Law and Deviance; Vol. 13). https://doi.org/10.1108/S1521-6136(2009)0000013017