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Thanks to Today’s Immigration Decision, Crimes Will Go Unreported

One thing can be said with certainty about today’s Supreme Court decision on immigration: As a result, more people are living with the fear of deportation. And that has specific, troublesome implications in terms of immigrants’ vulnerability to crime.

According to a newstudy, Latinos who had greater fear of deportation expressed “a lower likelihood of reporting violent crimes to the police.”

“Latinos may underreport victimization,” a research team led by David Becerra of Arizona State University writes in the Journal of Social Work. “Latinos’ reluctance to report crimes is likely related to a decreased sense of trust in the criminal justice system overall, and of law enforcement officers in particular.”

He and his colleagues note that, in previous research, Latina victims of domestic violence were less likely to report the crime to police than members of other ethnic or racial groups. That could reflect certain cultural norms, but fear of interacting with the American justice system surely plays a significant role.