Maya Barak

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Committee Member

Paul Leighton, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Donna Selman, PhD

Committee Member

Jay Weinstein, PhD


Following humanitarian, social justice, and labor organizing traditions that readily incorporate Latino immigrants’ voices into their work, and drawing upon postmodern, feminist, and activist schools of thought, this study illuminates the history of immigration policy and discourse in America and the Latino community’s knowledge and expertise about life as an undocumented Latino immigrant in Southeast Michigan. The development of increasingly restrictive immigration policies is traced, paying special attention to the adaptation of a criminal justice/enforcement models to the realm of immigration control and the concurrent criminalization of undocumented immigrants. The effects of current immigration and immigrant-specific policies on criminal offenses committed by, with, and against Latin American immigrants are explored. Offenses are examined using a status-driven offense typology. Ultimately, it is argued that current immigration and immigrant-specific policies are criminogenic and must be reformed if the United States desires to reduce status-driven offending and victimization.

Included in

Criminology Commons