Study Finds Harsher Sentences Imposed on Immigrants in Nontraditional Georahic Areas
Date:  03-13-2020

Hostility and fear of undocumented immigrants plays a big role in sentencing
From Human Rights Defense Center:

A recent Penn State University study confirmed that negative perceptions of immigration and immigrants have affected sentencing in geographic areas not traditionally known for being destinations for immigrants.

Prior to the 1990s, Hispanics traditionally immigrated to areas like California, Florida, and Texas. But since then, they have called areas like Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina their new homes. So, how have punishments been handed out to Hispanic immigrants in those nontraditional destinations?

Unsurprisingly, the study found that federal sentences imposed on Hispanic immigrants in nontraditional areas were more severe than those handed to immigrants in areas with established immigrant populations. This was especially true for undocumented noncitizen immigrants.

Relying on sentencing data that did not factor in whether charges were reduced, and by excluding immigration offenses, such as illegal re-entry, the study found the disparities in sentences in nontraditional areas were shaped more by recent events than by evolution of the law. Continue reading >>>