Ethnic Minorities and Criminalization of Immigration Policies in the United States

  • Felicia ArriagaEmail author
Reference work entry


Immigration policies in the United States not only describe the inclusive and exclusive nature of citizenship but also define that very citizenship through various arenas of law, namely, immigration and criminal law. Some ethnic groups are able to “become white” through legal definitions of citizenship, while others – racialized immigrants – remain as “second-class citizens” subject to criminalization and perceived criminality. It is only by considering how criminalization processes target other racial groups that one can construct how the criminalization of immigration policies serves to maintain a system of domination. The racialization process of certain immigrant groups has occurred through relational race making, whereby ethnic immigrants and the immigration policies pertaining to these groups also serve to criminalize them vis-à-vis other racial or racialized immigrant groups.


Criminalization Racialized immigrants Crimmigration Immigration enforcement 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melani Anae
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Studies, Te Wānanga o WaipapaUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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