Research Project

Luke Hinrichs

Major: Economics and Political Science
Minor: Philosophy
Faculty Advisor: Professor Lisa L. Miller

Policy Presentation Theme: Security and (In)Justice

Immigration policy is not only grounded in the regulation of the size and demographics of the United States population, but also reflects conceptions of national identity, social order, and international relations. Recently, scholars have drawn attention to the ways in which law enforcement and immigration control have increasingly overlapped as the lines between the two systems of immigration and criminal justice have blurred. This paper: explores how immigration policies, procedures, and discourses have become increasingly criminalized; identifies the key developmental periods of the relationship between immigration and criminal law; and characterizes the nature of the relationship between the systems. I conduct a literature review to establish a timeline of critical events in the development of federal immigration policy and identify key periods of criminalization, track the use of “criminal alien” and “immigration control” from 1880 to 2008, and incorporate an analysis of the immigration and crime laws between 1947 to 2012. My study identifies critical developmental events and constructs a new framework for understanding the nature of the converged punitive system of crimmigration.