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Surveillance Without Protection: Policing Undocumented Migrant Workers in an American Suburb

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 56 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2016 Pages: 877-897
H. Sung; S. Delgado; D. Pena; A. Paladino
Date Published
September 2016
21 pages
Since policing anonymous and fearful undocumented migrant workers (UMWs) is a challenging police responsibility in the United States, this study examined the dynamics of this challenge in Palisades Park, New Jersey.
A total of 160 UMWs living in Palisades Park were interviewed, with attention to their criminal victimization and interactions with the police. Findings indicate that UMWs suffered from a high level of crime victimization but were unlikely to report their victimizations to police. Yet they were eager to contact the police to seek information and assistance in non-legal matters. Police closely monitored UMWs through frequent encounters without provoking widespread resentment. Contradictions in both national immigration control and local politics are offered to interpret police-migrant relations. (Publisher abstract modified)