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New article alert: Latina immigrants' attitudes toward police and judges


We tested how Latina immigrants' attitudes toward police and judges differed based on their documentation status and history of family deportations.


Undocumented women had negative SPECIFIC attitudes toward police (i.e., stemming from their experience with police during their child’s arrest)


Women who had experienced family deportations had negative GENERAL attitudes toward police (i.e., considering the police as an abstract group).


Attitudes toward judges were neither associated with documentation status nor family deportations, suggesting that the association is unique to police during an era when police are increasingly involved in immigration enforcement.


What does this mean for the academic literature? General and specific attitudes toward legal actors may be informed by distinct experiences and should be considered separately. Immigrants may see police, not judges, as the “face” of the law, so legal actors should also be considered separately.


What does this mean for policy and practice? Alienating immigrants from the justice system via draconian local immigration enforcement may have the unintended consequence of reduced public safety and inequitable access to resources.

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