Sarah R. Coleman, Southern Methodist University and Angela Garcia, University of Chicago | Newberry

Sarah R. Coleman, Southern Methodist University and Angela Garcia, University of Chicago

Friday, September 22, 2017


Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar

Sarah R. Coleman–Iowa, Local Immigration Enforcement and Immigrants’ Rights

During the 1970s and 1980s, shifting labor and immigration patterns led to increased immigration in states that had not traditionally received immigrants. Restrictionists responded by calling for increased interior immigration enforcement. In response, civil rights activists pushed to protect the rights of immigrants against the threats of local police enforcement through lobbying efforts and legal activism, but they were left with a record of mixed success. A 1995 murder in Iowa added fuel to restrictionist efforts and lead to the creation of the 287(g) program, which allowed for the deputization of state and local law enforcement to assist in federal immigration enforcement. However, the program’s implementation was highly contested at the local level as communities weighed competing priorities. This paper demonstrates the growing role that local governments played in policy making as well as the limits of restrictionist pressure in local implementation.

Angela Garcia–Everyday Anxiety: Devolution, Deportability, and the Police

Anxiety has permeated the lives of undocumented immigrants across the United States. Most undocumented adults are settled, having spent at least a decade in the country. Many have also formed families. But recent efforts in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform have roundly failed, and the federal government has ratcheted up deportations by attempting to infuse immigration enforcement into the work of state and local police officers. Under these conditions, interacting with the police takes on particularly high stakes, as fear of deportation comes to regulate everyday life for undocumented people and their families. Despite such broad and deep anxiety, this chapter demonstrates how the weight of federal immigration enforcement actions shifts when it combines with local approaches towards policing undocumented residents. Cities can actively separate or entangle local police in immigration enforcement, therefore buffering or intensifying these immigrants’ experience of deportation threat, perceptions of police, and willingness to report crime.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.