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New UCSC course: enforcement & deportation

February 26, 2019

I am teaching a class focused entirely on U.S. immigration enforcement and deportation; its varied histories and contexts, determinants, and consequences across a range of domains below.


While preparing the syllabus, I compiled a list of readings whose volume could not possibly fit into a 10-week course. I share the list here in case it's useful.


Notes on what I included:


I am only assigning readings available electronically for students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I teach. Hence, I tend to assign articles rather than books (although a few ebooks and open source books are included). In some cases, I assign an article that preceded a book-length manuscript. Keep in mind that the list is not meant to be comprehensive. Instead, I have tried to identify readings and analyses that have been particularly influential in my own approach to studying enforcement and deportations. Oversights are not intentional.


News items, short policy briefs, and long-form journalism are in my syllabus but not the list below. 


When compiling the list below, my goal was to include readings from sociology (since this is a sociology course), but you will see readings from other disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches as well (e.g., demography, economics, anthropology, public health, law, public policy, political science, education, history, psychology, and geography).


Most of the weeks cover a range of methods as well, and the readings represent both academic and public policy experts who have either been working in the field for decades or -- like myself -- who are at the earlier stages of our careers.


Course Readings


Week 1, part 1: Course introduction


  1. Coleman, Mathew. “Immigrant il-legality: Geopolitical and legal borders in the US, 1882–present.” Geopolitics 17, no. 2 (2012): 402-422.

  2. Coutin, Susan Bibler. “Deportation studies: Origins, themes and directions.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41, no. 4 (2015): 671-681.

  3. Dowling, Julie A., and Jonathan Xavier Inda, eds. Governing immigration through crime: A reader. Stanford University Press, 2013.

    • UCSC ebook

  4. Macías-Rojas, Patrisia. “The Prison and the Border: An Ethnography of Shifting Border Security Logics.” Qualitative Sociology 41, no. 2 (2018): 221-242.

  5. Massey, Douglas S., Karen A. Pren, and Jorge Durand. “Why border enforcement backfired.” American Journal of Sociology 121, no. 5 (2016): 1557-1600.

  6. Ngai, Mae M. “The strange career of the illegal alien: Immigration restriction and deportation policy in the United States, 1921–1965.” Law and History Review 21, no. 1 (2003): 69-108.

  7. Vega, Irene I. “Empathy, morality, and criminality: the legitimation narratives of US Border Patrol agents.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2017): 1-18.


Week 1, part 2: History of immigration enforcement and deportations - how did we get here?


  1. Abrego, Leisy, Mat Coleman, Daniel E. Martínez, Cecilia Menjívar, and Jeremy Slack. "Making immigrants into criminals: Legal processes of criminalization in the post-IIRIRA era." Journal on Migration and Human Security 5, no. 3 (2017): 694-715.

  2. Arriaga, Felicia. “Relationships between the public and crimmigration entities in North Carolina: A 287 (g) program focus.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 3, no. 3 (2017): 417-431.

  3. Capps, Randy, Muzaffar Chishti, Julia Gelatt, Jessica Bolter, and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto. “Revving up the deportation machinery: Enforcement and pushback under Trump.” Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute (2018).

  4. Congressional Research Service. ”Interior immigration enforcement: Criminal alien programs.” Report prepared for members and committees of Congress (2016).

  5. Golash-Boza, Tanya, and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo. “Latino immigrant men and the deportation crisis: A gendered racial removal program.” Latino Studies 11, no. 3 (2013): 271-292.

  6. Inda, Jonathan Xavier. “Border prophylaxis: Technology, illegality, and the government of immigration.” Cultural Dynamics 18, no. 2 (2006): 115-138.

  7. Kanstroom, Daniel. “Deportation, social control, and punishment: Some thoughts about why hard laws make bad cases.” Harvard Law Review 113, no. 8 (2000): 1890-1935.

  8. Macías-Rojas, Patrisia. “Immigration and the War on Crime: Law and order politics and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.” Journal on Migration & Human Security 6, no. 1 (2018): 1-25.

  9. Rosenblum, Marc R., and Doris Meissner. “The deportation dilemma: Reconciling tough and humane enforcement.” Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute (2014).

  10. Stumpf, Juliet P. “D(E)volving Discretion: Lessons from the Life and Times of Secure Communities.” American University Law Review 64, no. 5 (2015): 1259-1284.

  11. Feminist Criminology. Special Issue: Bringing Latinas to the Forefront: Latina Girls, Women, and the Justice System, volume 12, number 3 (2017).

    • See especially Gómez Cervantes, Menjívar, and Staples (p.269-292) and Dingeman, Arzhayev, Ayala, Bermudez, Padama, and Tena-Chávez (p.293-314).


Week 2: Determinants of immigration enforcement and deportations - explaining the rise of mass deportations


Immigration enforcement and deportations


  1. Collingwood, Loren, Jason L. Morin, and Stephen Omar El-Khatib. ”Expanding carceral markets: Detention facilities, ICE contracts, and the financial interests of punitive immigration policy.” Race and Social Problems 10, no. 4 (2018): 275-292.

  2. Cuéllar, Mariano-Florentino. “The Political Economies of Immigration Law.“ University of California Irvine Law Review 2 (2012): 1-90.

  3. Eagly, Ingrid V. ”Criminal justice for noncitizens: an analysis of variation in local enforcement.” New York University Law Review 88 (2013): 1126.

  4. Joyner, Kara. “Arresting immigrants: Unemployment and immigration enforcement.” Migration Letters 15, no. 2 (2018): 215-238.

  5. King, Ryan D., Michael Massoglia, and Christopher Uggen. “Employment and exile: U.S. criminal deportations, 1908–2005.” American Journal of Sociology 117, no. 6 (2012): 1786-1825.

  6. King, Ryan D., and Denise N. Obinna. “Violent crime and immigrant removals: Reasons and determinants of immigrant deportations, 1908-1986.” Migration Letters 15, no. 2 (2018): 239-254.

  7. Lewis, Paul G., Doris Marie Provine, Monica W. Varsanyi, and Scott H. Decker. “Why do (some) city police departments enforce federal immigration law? Political, demographic, and organizational influences on local choices.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 23, no. 1 (2012): 1-25.

  8. Moinester, Margot. “Beyond the border and into the heartland: Spatial patterning of US immigration detention.“ Demography 55, no. 3 (2018): 1147-1193.

  9. Stageman, Daniel L. “The punishment marketplace: Competing for capitalized power in locally controlled immigration enforcement.” Theoretical Criminology (2017): 1-21.


State and local immigration policy-making


[For a list of a wide range of studies examining immigration policymaking, see Pedroza (2018) and Filindra (2018) in Policy Studies Journal as well as Gelatt, Bernstein, and Koball (2015) on this post]


  1. Commins, Margaret M., and Jeremiah B. Wills. “Reappraising and extending the predictors of states’ immigrant policies: Industry influences and the moderating effect of political ideology.” Social Science Quarterly 98, no. 1 (2017): 212-229.

  2. Filindra, Alexandra. “Is threat in the eye of the researcher? Theory and measurement in the study of state-level immigration policymaking.” Policy Studies Journal (2018): 1-27.

  3. Gelatt, Julia, Hamutal Bernstein, and Heather Koball. ”Uniting the patchwork: Measuring state and local immigration contexts.” Washington, DC: Urban Institute (2015).

  4. Money, Jeannette. “No vacancy: The political geography of immigration control in advanced industrial countries.” International Organization 51, no. 4 (1997): 685-720.

  5. Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick, and Pratheepan Gulasekaram. “The importance of the political in immigration federalism.” Arizona State Law Journal 44, no. 4 (2012): 1431-1488.

  6. Reich, Gary. ”One Model Does Not Fit All: The Varied Politics of State Immigrant Policies, 2005–16.” Policy Studies Journal (2018).

  7. Steil, Justin Peter, and Ion Bogdan Vasi. “The new immigration contestation: Social movements and local immigration policy making in the United States, 2000–2011.” American Journal of Sociology 119, no. 4 (2014): 1104-1155.

  8. Visser, M. Anne, and Sheryl-Ann Simpson. ”Determinants of county migrant regularization policymaking in the United States: Understanding temporal and spatial realities.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space (2019).


Secure Communities and 287(g) programs


  1. Chand, Daniel E., and William D. Schreckhise. “Secure communities and community values: Local context and discretionary immigration law enforcement.“ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41, no. 10 (2015): 1621-1643.

  2. Creek, Heather M., and Stephen Yoder. “With a Little Help from Our Feds: Understanding State Immigration Enforcement Policy Adoption in American Federalism.“ Policy Studies Journal 40, no. 4 (2012): 674-697.

  3. Jaeger, Jillian. “Securing Communities or Profits? The Effect of Federal-Local Partnerships on Immigration Enforcement.“ State Politics & Policy Quarterly 16, no. 3 (2016): 362-386.

  4. O’Neil, Kevin S. Challenging change: Local policies and the new geography of American immigration. Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University (2011).

  5. Pedroza, Juan M. “Deportation discretion: Tiered influence, minority threat, and ‘Secure Communities’ deportations.” Policy Studies Journal (2018).

  6. Wong, Tom K. “287 (g) and the politics of interior immigration control in the United States: Explaining local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.“ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38, no. 5 (2012): 737-756.


Week 3: Consequences of immigration enforcement and deportations


  1. Bohn, Sarah, and Robert Santillano. “Local Immigration Enforcement and Local Economies.“ Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society 56, no. 2 (2017): 236-262.

  2. Capps, Randy, Heather Koball, Andrea Campetella, Krista Perreira, Sarah Hooker, and Juan Manuel Pedroza. “Implications of immigration enforcement activities for the well-being of children in immigrant families.” Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute (2015).

  3. Chávez, Sergio. “Navigating the US-Mexico border: the crossing strategies of undocumented workers in Tijuana, Mexico.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 34, no. 8 (2011): 1320-1337.

  4. Chaudry, Ajay, Randy Capps, Juan Manuel Pedroza, Rosa M. Castañeda, Rob Santos, and Molly Scott, Facing our future: Children in the aftermath of immigration enforcement. Washington, DC: Urban Institute (2010).

  5. Dreby, Joanna. “The burden of deportation on children in Mexican immigrant families.” Journal of Marriage and Family 74, no. 4 (2012): 829-845.

  6. García, San Juanita. ”Living a deportation threat: Stressors confronted by undocumented Mexican immigrant women.” Race and Social Problems (2018).

  7. Hagan, Jacqueline, David Leal, and Nestor Rodríguez. “Deporting social capital: Implications for immigrant communities in the United States.” Migration Studies 3, no. 3 (2015): 370-392.

  8. Menjívar, Cecilia. “Central American immigrant workers and legal violence in Phoenix, Arizona.“ Latino Studies 11, no. 2 (2013): 228-252.

  9. Menjívar, Cecilia, and Leisy Abrego. “Legal violence: Immigration law and the lives of Central American immigrants.” American Journal of Sociology 117, no. 5 (2012): 1380-1421.

  10. Rocha, Rene R., Benjamin R. Knoll, and Robert D. Wrinkle. ”Immigration enforcement and the redistribution of political trust.” The Journal of Politics 77, no. 4 (2015): 901-913.

  11. Zayas, Luis H., Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Hyunwoo Yoon, and Guillermina Natera Rey. “The distress of citizen-children with detained and deported parents.” Journal of child and family studies 24, no. 11 (2015): 3213-3223.


Week 4: Socio-economic hardship: poverty, housing, and food insecurity


  1. Alsan, Marcella, and Crystal Yang. Fear and the safety net: Evidence from Secure Communities. No. w24731. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2018.

  2. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina, Esther Arenas-Arroyo, and Almudena Sevilla. “Immigration enforcement and economic resources of children with likely unauthorized parents.” Journal of Public Economics 158 (2018): 63-78.

  3. Enriquez, Laura E. “Multigenerational punishment: Shared experiences of undocumented immigration status within mixed‐status families.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77, no. 4 (2015): 939-953.

  4. Gelatt, Julia, Heather Koball, Hamutal Bernstein, Charmaine Runes, and Eleanor Pratt. “State immigration policies: How they impact low-income households.” Washington, DC: The Urban Institute (2017).

  5. Pedroza, Juan M. “Housing Stability and Residential Membership in an Era of Mass Deportations.“ (2018). Ph.D. Dissertation paper.

  6. Potochnick, Stephanie, Jen-Hao Chen, and Krista Perreira. “Local-level immigration enforcement and food insecurity risk among Hispanic immigrant families with children: national-level evidence.” Journal of immigrant and minority health 19, no. 5 (2017): 1042-1049.

  7. Rugh, Jacob S., and Matthew Hall. “Deporting the American dream: Immigration enforcement and Latino foreclosures.” Sociological Science 3 (2016): 1053-1076.

  8. Young, Maria-Elena De Trinidad, Gabriela León-Pérez, Christine R. Wells, and Steven P. Wallace. “More inclusive states, less poverty among immigrants? An examination of poverty, citizenship stratification, and state immigrant policies.” Population Research and Policy Review 37, no. 2 (2018): 205-228.


Week 5: Health - access, care, and outcomes


  1. Cruz Nichols, Vanessa, Alana MW LeBrón, and Francisco I. Pedraza. “Spillover effects: Immigrant policing and government skepticism in matters of health for Latinos.” Public Administration Review 78, no. 3 (2018): 432-443.

  2. Hainmueller, Jens, Duncan Lawrence, Linna Martén, Bernard Black, Lucila Figueroa, Michael Hotard, Tomás R. Jiménez, Fernando Mendoza, Maria I. Rodriguez, Jonas J. Swartz, David D. Laitin. “Protecting unauthorized immigrant mothers improves their children’s mental health.” Science 357, no. 6355 (2017): 1041-1044.

  3. Patler, Caitlin, and Whitney Laster Pirtle. “From undocumented to lawfully present: Do changes to legal status impact psychological wellbeing among Latino immigrant young adults?” Social Science & Medicine 199 (2018): 39-48.

  4. Perreira, Krista M., and Juan M. Pedroza. “Policies of exclusion: Implications for the health of immigrants and their children.” Annual Review of Public Health (2019).

  5. Torche, Florencia and Catherine Sirois. “Restrictive Immigration Law and Birth Outcomes of. Immigrant Women.” American Journal of Epidemiology (2018).

  6. Vargas, Edward D., and Vickie D. Ybarra. “U.S. citizen children of undocumented parents: the link between state immigration policy and the health of Latino children.” Journal of immigrant and minority health 19, no. 4 (2017): 913-920.

  7. Watson, Tara. “Inside the refrigerator: Immigration enforcement and chilling effects in Medicaid participation.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6, no. 3 (2014): 313-38.


Week 6: Educational and youth development


  1. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina, and Mary J. Lopez. “Falling through the cracks? Grade retention and school dropout among children of likely unauthorized immigrants.” American Economic Review 105, no. 5 (2015): 598-603.

  2. Aranda, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth Vaquera. “Racism, the immigration enforcement regime, and the implications for racial inequality in the lives of undocumented young adults.” Sociology of race and ethnicity 1, no. 1 (2015): 88-104.

  3. Crawford, Emily R., and Kathryn Fishman-Weaver. “Proximity and policy: Negotiating safe spaces between immigration policy and school practice.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 29, no. 3 (2016): 273-296.

  4. Gallo, Sarah. “The effects of gendered immigration enforcement on middle childhood and schooling.” American Educational Research Journal 51, no. 3 (2014): 473-504.

  5. Gonzales, Roberto G. “Learning to be illegal: Undocumented youth and shifting legal contexts in the transition to adulthood.” American Sociological Review 76, no. 4 (2011): 602-619.

  6. Macías, Luis Fernando, and Bruce Anthony Collet. “Separated by removal: The impact of parental deportation on Latina/o children’s postsecondary educational goals.” Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education 10, no. 3 (2016): 169-181.

  7. Silver, Alexis M. “Displaced at ‘home’: 1.5-Generation immigrants navigating membership after returning to Mexico.” Ethnicities 18, no. 2 (2018): 208-224.

  8. Suárez-Orozco, Carola. “Conferring disadvantage: Behavioral and developmental implications for children growing up in the shadow of undocumented immigration status.” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 38, no. 6 (2017): 424-428.


Week 7: Justice, noncitizen rights, and the law


  1. Armenta, Amada. Protect, serve, and deport: The rise of policing as immigration enforcement. University of California Press, 2017.

  2. Donato, Katharine M., and Leslie Ann Rodriguez. “Police arrests in a time of uncertainty: The impact of 287 (g) on arrests in a new immigrant gateway.“ American Behavioral Scientist 58, no. 13 (2014): 1696-1722.

  3. Flores, René D. “Taking the law into their own hands: do local anti-immigrant ordinances increase gun sales?“ Social problems 62, no. 3 (2015): 363-390.

  4. Fussell, Elizabeth. “The deportation threat dynamic and victimization of Latino migrants: Wage theft and robbery.” The Sociological Quarterly 52, no. 4 (2011): 593-615.

  5. Gleeson, Shannon. Conflicting commitments: The politics of enforcing immigrant worker rights in San Jose and Houston. Cornell University Press, 2012.

    • UCSC ebook

  6. Kirk, David S., Andrew V. Papachristos, Jeffrey Fagan, and Tom R. Tyler. “The paradox of law enforcement in immigrant communities: Does tough immigration enforcement undermine public safety?“ The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 641 (2012): 79-98.

  7. Menjívar, Cecilia, William Paul Simmons, Daniel Alvord, and Elizabeth Salerno Valdez. “Immigration enforcement, the racialization of legal status, and perceptions of the police: Latinos in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix in Comparative Perspective.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 15, no. 1 (2018): 107-128.

  8. Owens, Colleen, Meredith Dank, Justin Breaux, Isela Bañuelos, Amy Farrell, Rebecca Pfeffer, Katie Bright, Ryan Heitsmith, and Jack McDevitt. “Understanding the organization, operation, and victimization process of labor trafficking in the United States.” Washington, DC: Urban Institute (2014).

  9. Pedroza, Juan. “Making Noncitizens’ Rights Real: Evidence from Legal Services Fraud Complaints.“ (2018). Ph.D. Dissertation paper.

  10. Ramji-Nogales, Jaya, Andrew I. Schoenholtz, and Philip G. Schrag. “Refugee roulette: Disparities in asylum adjudication.” Stanford Law Review 60 (2007): 295-411.

  11. Ryo, Emily. “Legal attitudes of immigrant detainees.” Law & Society Review 51, no. 1 (2017): 99-131.


Week 8: Location choice and living in the shadows


  1. Bohn, Sarah, and Todd Pugatch. “U.S. border enforcement and Mexican immigrant location choice.” Demography 52, no. 5 (2015): 1543-1570.

  2. Dee, Thomas, and Mark Murphy. Vanished Classmates: The Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement on Student Enrollment. No. w25080. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2018.

  3. Ellis, Mark, Richard Wright, and Matthew Townley. “State-scale immigration enforcement and Latino interstate migration in the United States.“ Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106, no. 4 (2016): 891-908.

  4. García, Angela S. “Hidden in plain sight: How unauthorised migrants strategically assimilate in restrictive localities in California.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 40, no. 12 (2014): 1895-1914.

  5. Harrison, Jill Lindsey, and Sarah E. Lloyd. “Illegality at work: Deportability and the productive new era of immigration enforcement.” Antipode 44, no. 2 (2012): 365-385.

  6. Leyro, Shirley P., and Daniel L. Stageman. “Crimmigration, Deportability and the Social Exclusion of Noncitizen Immigrants.” Migration Letters (2018).

  7. Lofstrom, Magnus, Sarah Bohn, and Steven Raphael. ”Lessons from the 2007 legal Arizona Workers Act.” San Francisco, CA: Public Policy Institute of California (2011).

  8. O’Neil, Kevin S. Challenging change: Local policies and the new geography of American immigration. Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University (2011).

    • Chapter 3: “Geographic dispersal of the foreign‐born population and local anti‐immigration policies.”

  9. Parrado, Emilio A. “Immigration enforcement policies, the economic recession, and the size of local Mexican immigrant populations.“ The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 641, no. 1 (2012): 16-37.

  10. Orrenius, Pia M., and Madeline Zavodny. “Digital enforcement: Effects of E-Verify on unauthorized immigrant employment and population.” Dallas, TX: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (2017).


Week 9: Reframing immigrant rights - integration, sanctuary, and amnesty


  1. Bloemraad, Irene, Fabiana Silva, and Kim Voss. “Rights, economics, or family? Frame resonance, political ideology, and the immigrant rights movement.” Social Forces 94, no. 4 (2016): 1647-1674.

  2. Bosniak, Linda. “Amnesty in immigration: forgetting, forgiving, freedom.” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16, no. 3 (2013): 344-365.

  3. Huang, Xi, and Cathy Yang Liu. “Welcoming cities: Immigration policy at the local government level.“ Urban Affairs Review 54, no. 1 (2018): 3-32.Mendez, Matthew S. “Towards an Ethical Representation of Undocumented Latinos.” PS: Political Science & Politics 51, no. 2 (2018): 335-339.

  4. Patler, Caitlin, and Roberto G. Gonzales. “Framing citizenship: Media coverage of anti-deportation cases led by undocumented immigrant youth organisations.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41, no. 9 (2015): 1453-1474.

  5. Ridgley, Jennifer. “Cities of refuge: Immigration enforcement, police, and the insurgent genealogies of citizenship in U.S. sanctuary cities.” Urban Geography 29, no. 1 (2008): 53-77.

  6. Terriquez, Veronica. “Intersectional mobilization, social movement spillover, and queer youth leadership in the immigrant rights movement.” Social Problems 62, no. 3 (2015): 343-362.

  7. Williams, Linda M. “Beyond enforcement: Welcomeness, local law enforcement, and immigrants.” Public Administration Review 75, no. 3 (2015): 433-442. 


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