On the History of Immigration and Crime

Authored by: Holly Ventura Miller

Routledge Handbook on Immigration and Crime

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138668416
eBook ISBN: 9781317211563
Adobe ISBN:


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The perceived criminality of the foreign-born served as an impetus for early state and local action in controlling immigration and was critical to involving the federal government in immigration regulation in the 19th century. Each of the major waves of immigration to the U.S. sparked nativist movements and policies as the native-born sought to distance themselves from newcomers and firmly establish the dominance of preceding immigrant groups. This chapter offers an overview and history of immigration and crime, with attention to immigration trends, nativist movements, and the policies influenced by both. Evidence suggests that the perception of the criminal immigrant is firmly rooted in U.S. history as opposed to a novel feature of the current political landscape.

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