Federal Sentencing of Hispanic Defendants in Changing Immigrant Destinations

Jeffrey Todd Ulmer, Brandy R. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research shows that federal punishment disparity between Hispanic and white defendants varies according to federal district court contexts. Recent sociological scholarship has also drawn distinctions between traditional Hispanic immigrant destinations and new or emerging immigrant destinations, and depicted the reception of Hispanic immigrants in new immigrant destinations as less welcoming and supportive than in traditional destinations. We examine whether federal courts in different Hispanic immigrant destinations exhibit differing levels of Hispanic citizen and non-citizen sentencing disadvantage circa 2000, and then circa 2010. We find that traditional destinations exhibit little or no Hispanic versus non-Hispanic disparity, while Hispanic citizens and non-citizens both received longer sentences in new destinations and in non-immigrant destinations circa 2000. By the early 2010s, emerging destinations did not sentence Hispanic citizens and non-citizens significantly differently from traditional destinations. However, new destinations, along with non-immigrant destinations, sentenced Hispanic non-citizens more harshly, especially the undocumented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJustice Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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