This week’s reading provides an overview of the research on drugs and crime in the United States. After reviewing the reading for week 6, as well as the week 6 discussion articles in the lesson for this week, discuss/debate with your classmates your position on which factors you feel play a greater role pertaining to the problems associated with drugs and crime in the United States. Discuss with your classmates' possible solutions to the problems of illegal drug use and present a drug-control strategy that you believe would work. Defend your recommendations citing studies and/or other academic research.
References Beittel, J. S. (2012, August 3). Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations: Source and scope of the rising violence.
Congressional Research Service.
Beittel, J. S. (2015, July 22). Mexico: Organized crime and drug trafficking organizations. Congressional Research
Blaine, B. B. (2012, January). Mexican drug cartels. Marine Corps Gazette, 96(1), 40-42. https://www.mca-
Simser, J. (2011). Plata o plomo: Penetration, the purchase of power and the Mexican drug cartels. Journal of
Money Laundering Control, 14(3), 266–278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13685201111147568
Turbiville, G. H. (2010). Firefights, raids, and assassinations: Tactical forms of cartel violence and their
underpinnings. Small Wars & Insurgencies, 21(1), 123-
6/5/2021 How Mexican Government Handle Situation
How Mexican Government Handle Situation
The success of the government has been undermined by a failure to disrupt opera�ons of cartels through captures of the kingpins and the recent escape of Guzman on July 11, 2015 (Bei�el, 2015). There are supposi�ons that the Sinaloa cartel is vying to seize dominance in Mexico and unite other cartels. On the one hand, it will reduce the level of inter-cartel violence, but on the other hand, such development of the situa�on would pose a serious challenge to the government that already struggles to devise a solu�on under the rule of recently elected President Enrique Pena Nieto (Bei�el, 2015). Hence, it is to be seen whether the Mexican government can handle the increased power of cartels and effec�vely prevent their further spread. All in all, the U.S. government is extremely worried about the Mexican situa�on because of the increasing violence that can spill over into the United States, which happens to be the target des�na�on of illicit drug shipments. Therefore, it is frequently recommended for the U.S. government to cooperate with the Mexican government with access to efficiently figh�ng powerful drug cartels that pose a significant threat to the United States’ na�onal security and overall well-being of society.
6/5/2021 Illicit Drug Trade
Since the early 2000s, Mexico has been “in the midst of a ba�le between warring organized crime fac�ons” (Simser, 2011, p. 267) commonly referred to as cartels that exploit corrup�on, subversion, penetra�on, extreme violence, assassina�ons, kidnappings, and other violent methods intended to promote their interests. Moreover, cartels have been warring not only with the government but also among themselves, striving to establish dominance and control over key plazas that are portals for the smuggling of illicit drugs into the United States (Simser, 2011). Some researchers and policymakers even claim that Mexican cartels should be defined as insurgent groups that have a real chance of seizing power in the country should their further evolu�onary pace remain on the exis�ng track (Blaine, 2012). This opinion complies with a similar viewpoint accredited to the Drug Enforcement Administra�on that there has occurred “a transi�on from the gangsterism of tradi�onal narco hitmen to paramilitary terrorism with guerilla tac�cs” (Turbiville, 2010, p. 123). Therefore, this evolu�on of cartels calls for the development and implementa�on of new an�-drug measures and combat strategies. Although the Mexican government, especially under the rule of President Calderon, has a�empted to implement new amendments since 2006, they have proved to be only par�ally successful (Turbiville, 2010). Understandably, violence is an integral part of the illicit drug trade irrespec�ve of the par�cular drug and country, yet the level of violence in Mexico is truly alarming (Bei�el, 2012). As of 2006, there were four main cartels: (a) the Tijuana/Arellano Felix organiza�on, (b) the Gulf cartel, (c) the Sinaloa cartel, and (d) the Juarez/Vicente Carillo Fuentes organiza�on (Bei�el, 2012). The government’s steps, in par�cular, the involvement of the military in the fight with cartels, enhanced intelligence gathering, coopera�on with the United States, and other measures, have resulted in extreme fragmenta�on of the organiza�ons (Bei�el, 2012). Hence, as of 2015, there are now nine cartels along with the four previously men�oned; the five new cartels are (a) Los Zetas, (b) Beltran Leyva Organiza�on, (c) La Familia Michoacana, (d) Knights Templar, and (e) Cartel Jalisco-New Genera�on (Bei�el, 2015). These cartels have managed to func�on with li�le problems despite the fact the government has either captured or killed the kingpins of all of these cartels, for instance, the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from the Sinaloa in 2014 and the arrest of Hector Beltran Leyva from the Beltran Leyva Organiza�on in 2014 (Bei�el, 2015). Furthermore, the violence remains an actual problem, irrespec�ve of some successes in bringing down the homicide rate as cartels have intensified ac�vi�es related to kidnappings, extor�ons, and threats (Bei�el, 2015).
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War or pseudo-war? Miranda, Joseph Social Justice; Summer 1998; 25, 2; ProQuest Central pg. 65
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
United States-Mexico: The Convergence of Public Policy Views in the Post-9/11 World Valeriano, Brandon;Powers, Matthew Policy Studies Journal; Nov 2010; 38, 4; ProQuest pg. 745
Citizenship Status and Arrest Patterns for Violent and Narcotic-Related Offenses in Federal Judicial Districts along the U.S./Mexico Border
Deborah Sibila1 & Wendi Pollock2 & Scott Menard3
Received: 8 September 2016 /Accepted: 30 October 2016 / Published online: 10 November 2016 # Southern Criminal Justice Association 2016
Abstract Media reports routinely reference the drug-related violence in Mexico, linking crime in communities along the Southwest U.S. Border to illegal immigrants. The primary purpose of the current research is to examine whether the media assertions can be supported. Logistic regression models were run to determine the impact of citizenship on the likelihood of disproportionate arrest for federal drug and violent crimes, along the U.S./Mexico border. In arrests for homicide, assault, robbery, and weapons offenses, U.S. citizens were disproportionately more likely than non-citizens to be arrested. The only federal crime where non-citizens were disproportionately more likely to be arrested than were U.S. citizens was for marijuana offenses. Results of the current study challenge the myth of the criminal immigrant.
Keywords Citizenship . Arrest . Criminal immigrant . Gender
The myth of the criminal immigrant is perhaps one of the single most controversial factors contributing to America’s present day anti-immigrant fervor. In their book, The
Am J Crim Just (2017) 42:469–488 DOI 10.1007/s12103-016-9375-1
* Wendi Pollock [email protected]
Deborah Sibila [email protected]
Scott Menard [email protected]
1 Department of Government, Stephen F. Austin State University, Box 13045 SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962, USA
2 Department of Social Sciences, Texas A&M University, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412, USA
3 Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Immigration Time Bomb, authors Richard D. Lamm and Gary Imhoff contend that the issue of immigration and crime is a critically divisive topic easily subject to misinter- pretation (1985, p. 21). The belief that immigrants are more crime-prone than native- born is not a twentieth century development. Debates on this controversy date back more than 100 years (Hagan & Palloni, 1998; Martinez & Lee, 2000). Hagan and Pallon believed that the nexus between immigration and crime is so misleading that it constitutes a mythology (1999, p. 630). In a special report for the Immigration Policy Center, professors Ruben Rumbaut and Walter Ewing wrote B[The] misperception that the foreign-born, especially illegal, immigrants are responsible for higher crime rates is deeply rooted in American public opinion and sustained by media anecdote and popular myth^ (2007, p. 3). Lee (2013) similarly argues that immigrants have a long history of serving as scapegoats for a vast array of America’s societal problems including crime.
Public opinion surveys suggest that a significant number of Americans believe that immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants, are associated with higher crime rates (Kohut et al., 2006; Muste, 2013; Sohoni & Sohoni, 2014). Media sources routinely associate immigration, especially Hispanic immigrants, with crime (Bender, 2003; Martinez, 2002). Politicians also play a key role in perpetuating the belief that immigrants and crime are interrelated. Arizona Governor Jan. Brewer, Senator John McCain and former presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan are just a few political figures that have gone on record linking immigration directly with high crime rates (Butcher & Piehl, 1998; USA Today, 2011). On May 15, 2006, during a presidential address to the nation on immigration reform, former President George W. Bush asserted that BIllegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals, it strains state and local budgets and brings crime to our communities.^ According to Rumbaut and Ewing (2007), regardless of the much-publicized media stereotyping and harsh political rhetoric, empirical evidence simply does not support the popular misperception that immigration is the cause of higher crime rates in America.
History of Immigration and Crime Theory and Research
Explanations of the link between immigration and crime have been offered from the perspectives of culture conflict, acculturation, social disorganization and the immigration revitalization perspective. From the culture conflict perspective, Sellin (1938) suggested that the conflict between the norms of behavior for divergent cultures, as represented by native born Americans versus immigrants, was one source of crime. Sutherland (1924, 1934) posited that it was not immigration itself, but rather acculturation, that led to the association between immigration and crime, and noted that second-generation immigrants had higher crime rates than first-generation immi- grants. From the social disorganization perspective, researchers from the Chicago School linked immigration to a number of social issues, including not only crime but also poverty, unemployment, poor housing, and substandard schools (Park et al., 1925; Shaw, 1929; Shaw & McKay, 1931, 1942; Thomas & Znaniecki, 1920, 1958). Shaw and McKay, in particular, suggested that it was not the characteristics of the immigrants themselves, but the characteristics of the urban neighborhoods in which they resided, that led to the apparent link between immigration and crime (see
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also Taylor, 1931). In contrast to the culture conflict, acculturation, and social disorganization perspectives, the immigration revitalization perspective (Lee, 2013; Martinez, 2006) suggests that immigrants tend to be less criminal than native-born Americans, and that the informal social controls that are an integral part of the culture in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods result in higher levels of social organiza- tion and lower rates of crime. The present paper is informed by, but not a direct test of, these theories, which disagree about whether immigrants should have dispropor- tionately higher (culture conflict, social disorganization; acculturation for the second generation), or lower (immigrant revitalization; acculturation for the first generation) involvement in illegal behavior.
Early empirical investigations into the link between immigration and crime were limited and were focused at the individual level (Abbott, 1915; Hourwich, 1912; Lind, 1930; Taft, 1933, 1936; Van Vechten, 1941). These studies found little evidence of a causal relationship between immigration and crime. Three major government commis- sions (the Industrial Commission of 1901, the [Dillingham] Immigration Commission of 1911, and the [Wickersham] National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement of 1931) similarly explored the issue of whether immigration increases crime. Each of the commissions found that immigrants were less likely to commit crime than were their native-born counterparts.
More recent studies investigating the association between immigration and crime tend to agree with earlier research, specifically that immigrants are not disproportion- ately involved in crime and are oftentimes significantly less involved than native-born Americans (Hagan & Palloni, 1998; Martinez & Lee, 2000; Mears, 2002; Rumbaut & Ewing, 2007). Contemporary researchers examining the immigrant-violent crime nexus have concentrated their efforts on macro-level studies, conducting both neigh- borhood and city-level studies. Findings from macro-level research surrounding the immigration-violent crime question have been more inconsistent than the individual- level studies. There are a handful recent studies that find some positive relationships when examining the impact of immigration and certain crime variables under specific conditions (Lee, et al., 2000; Martinez, 2000, 2003; Sampson & Raudenbush, 1999). A significant portion of contemporary research examining the relationship between immigration and crime has focused on ethnic gangs and violent crime, especially homicide. More recently, researchers have explored the idea that immigration has actually contributed to the decline in U.S. crime rates since the 1990s (Sampson, 2006, 2008). In addition to recent academic studies, at least one government com- mission was tasked with examining the issue of immigration and crime during the last 20 years. The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (1994) examined the impact of Mexican immigration on crime rates in metropolitan areas along the Southwest border as compared to those in non-border cities. The commission found that crimes rates were typically lower in cities with large Mexican populations along the border than for non-border cities.
The Southwest Border
Because of the current study’s focus on the impact of immigrant status on violent crime and narcotic-related offenses in federal jurisdictions along the United States-
Am J Crim Just (2017) 42:469–488 471
Mexico border during a time of unprecedented drug violence in Mexico, it is important to provide some background information regarding the location and timeframe for the research. The U.S.-Mexico border commonly referred to, as the Southwest border is an international boundary separating the United States and Mexico. The border was created in 1848 after the end of the Mexican-American War under the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. The Southwest border is one of the longest borders in the world (1954 miles) and runs along the U.S. states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas on the northern side and the Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas on the southern side. It is also considered to be the busiest international boundary in the world (Andreas, 2000). The La Paz Agreement signed by the United States and Mexico in 1983 specifies that the Bborder region^ between the U.S.-Mexico en- compass the band of land that stretches 100 km (approximately 62.5 miles) on either side of the boundary line. There were approximately 70.9 million residents living in the four border states in 2010, with approximately 7.5 million people residing in 37 counties that comprise the border region (Rex, 2014). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the border region contains the largest concentration of Hispanic population in the country — from 25 % to more than 50 % of the population (Ennis et al., 2011). The Pew Research Center estimates that in 2010 approximately 4.7 million illegal immigrants lived in the four states along the Southwest border (Passel & Cohn, 2011).
The movement of illegal drugs and movement of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico into the United States via Southwest border have long been areas of contention in U.S.-Mexico relations (Andrews, 2012; Domínguez & De Castro, 2009; Payan, 2006; Seelke, 2010). For decades, marijuana and heroin (primarily Mexican brown and black tar heroin) were smuggled across the border without significant interference by law enforcement in either country (Andreas, 2000). During the 1980s, Mexico became an important transshipment center for drugs entering the United States following the crackdown on the importation of Colombian cocaine and marijuana through South Florida. The crackdown led to the redirection of federal drug interdiction efforts from South Florida to the Southwest border. The passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, or IRCA, which granted amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, further contributed to public scrutiny of Southwest border issues and the problem of undocumented immigration (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, n.d.). Efforts by law enforcement agencies to curb further illegal immigration across the Southwest border following the passage of the IRCA legislation proved essentially futile (Payan, 2006). During the 1990s, the U.S. federal government increased the number and scope of interdiction operations targeting both drugs and illegal immigrants attempting to cross the United States- Mexico border (e.g., Operations Gate Keeper, Hold the Line, Safeguard, and Rio Grande). These operations made little inroad into the drug and immigration prob- lems plaguing the border region (Andrews, 2012; Domínguez & De Castro, 2009; Payan, 2006). Meanwhile, Mexico’s efforts to curb the expansion of drug cartel influence during the 1990s were largely ineffective. The cartels expanded their influence throughout Mexico, and drug-related corruption was rampant throughout the country’s government, police organizations and military (Andreas, 2000;
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Carpenter, 2009). The U.S. federal government dramatically escalated border polic- ing following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Perhaps the most affected area in the U.S. after the attacks was the Southwest border (Payan, 2006, p. 13; see also Domínguez & De Castro, 2009). National security concerns following 9/11 led to the tightening of border security checks, hardening of land and sea points of entry, crackdowns on unauthorized immigration and increased militarization of the border. Despite all these safeguards, public perception that government and law enforcement efforts to secure the Southwest border are substantially ineffectual persists. Cornelius (2005) suggests that the government’s efforts to secure the border are not only inadequate, but have been more effective keeping illegal immigrants inside the U.S. than acting as an deterrent to others attempting to enter the country (p. 12). Americans remain divided over how to stem the flow of illegal immigrants across the Southwest border.
The current image of the Southwest border as a region plagued by violence and crime is intrinsically linked to the rising tide of drug-related violence in Mexico during the last ten years (Beittel, 2009, 2011; Carpenter, 2012; Payan, 2006). Violence in Mexico significantly worsened following Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon’s declaration of war against his country’s drug cartels shortly after his inauguration in December 2006. The level of drug-related crimes (i.e., homicides, kidnappings, home invasions, drive-by shootings) increased throughout Mexico, particularly in the northern territories along the United States border (Beittel, 2009, 2011; Domínguez & De Castro, 2009). According to Human Rights Watch (2013), approximately 60,000 Mexicans lost their lives as a result of drug-related violence during President Calderon’s tenure as president (2006–2012).
Since 2007, the media in United States, especially those along the Southwest border have been preoccupied with the drug violence and bloodshed in Mexico (Andrews, 2012; del Bosque, 2009). Media sources routinely sensationalize re- ports of U.S. citizens dying and being kidnapped in suspected drug-related incidents in cities along the Southwest border. The media coverage has persuaded Americans that the turmoil in Mexico is no longer confined to that country (Correa-Cabrera, 2012). Many are convinced that Mexico’s drug-related violence has Bspilled over^ into communities along the Southwest border. ‘Spillover’ has become a new media buzzword (del Bosque, 2009). While there is no firm definition for the term spillover violence it is generally understood to be violence that occurs as a result of drug trafficking. Civilians, law enforcement officers and other criminals or criminal organizations can all be the targets of spillover violence (Lee & Olson, 2013, p. 100). There is some debate as to whether spillover violence is an actual phenomenon (Correa-Cabrera, 2012; Lee & Olson, 2013). Without a concise definition, the ability of law enforcement to identify and measure spillover violence is problematic. In a report to Congress regarding the issue of Southwest border violence, Finklea and colleagues note that Bno comprehensive, publicly available data exists that can definitively answer the question of whether there has been a significant spillover of drug trafficking- related violence into the United States^ (2010, p. 19). Further complicating the issue of spillover violence has been the media linkage of the problem to the Bflood^ of unauthorized immigrants moving across the Southwest border (del Bosque, 2009). Proponents of stricter immigration controls argue that increased
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border security will significantly impede the flow of undocumented immigrants thereby reducing rates of violent and property crimes in border communities (Nevins, 2002; Payan, 2006).
The Federal Criminal Justice System and the Southwest Border
Criminal offenses occurring along the Southwest border can be prosecuted in either state or federal court. The primary trial court in the federal judiciary is the U.S. district court. There are currently 94 federal judicial districts in the United States, each with its own district court. Each district has different judges, court- house cultures and specialized local needs (Abrams et al., 2010). There are five federal districts along the Southwest border: The District of Arizona, the District of New Mexico, the Southern District of California, the Southern District of Texas, and the Western District of Texas (Fig. 1).
Each district has its own U.S. Attorney. The U.S. Attorneys’ Office (USAO) represents the federal government in all cases where the United States is a party. It has the discretion to decide whether federal charges will be filed in a case or if the case should be referred to the state system. Some factors that may affect the USAO’s choice between federal or state prosecution include: (1) primary investi- gative jurisdiction; (2) custody of the suspect; (3) possibility of a duplicative prosecution; (4) caseload and resources; (5) legal advantage; and (6) inter- agency relationships and relations among agents (Abrams et al., 2010). Federal crimes prosecuted by the USAO are listed under vario
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