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RESEARCH

Publications

Did Secure Communities Lead to Safer Communities? Immigration Enforcement, Crime Deterrence, and Geographical Externalities

Songman Kang; B K So 2023-01-16 조회수 1,970

Secure Communities is a recently introduced immigration enforcement policy in the United States, intended to improve public safety by making it easier to identify and deport criminal immigrants and immigration violators. In this article, we examine the effect of Secure Communities on crime by utilizing the variation in its timing of activation across counties. We extend previous research by exploring potential crime spillovers associated with Secure Communities, in which its activation in one jurisdiction affects crime rates in a neighboring jurisdiction. Estimation results suggest that the activation of Secure Communities influenced crime rates in both the activated area and neighboring areas in important ways. We find that Secure Communities led to a significant crime reduction in the activated area if it is also activated in neighboring areas, but no significant local crime reduction is observed if not activated in neighboring areas. Likewise, its activation is often associated with significant crime spillovers into neighboring areas, but this displacement effect is often completely eliminated if Secure Communities is activated in the neighboring areas as well.