Document Type



This paper examines the devolution of immigration enforcement practices in four states: Arizona, California, New York, and Texas. The author analyzes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation and apprehension statistics, as well as individual state ordinances to determine whether an immigrant has an increased chance of being deported based on where they live. States cannot change federal immigration statutes, but they can pass legislation that can limit enforcement and accommodate or deter coming migrants. Such laws directly impact the quality of life an immigrant leads in a given state. The diverse range of ordinances across the U.S. has created an uneven landscape of “sanctuary” and “risk” zones, where an undocumented immigrant’s chance of being detained or deported vary significantly. This has caused both legal and illegal immigrants to flock to designated sanctuary states and cities; their clustering in particular areas ultimately influences the public policy decisions of state legislatures.