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Latino Employment and Black Violence: The Unintended Consequence of U.S. Immigration Policy

From: Social Forces
Volume 88, Number 3, March 2010
pp. 1393-1420 | 10.1353/sof.0.0286



U.S. immigration policies after 1965 fueled a rise in the Latino population and, thus, increased the competition for low-skill jobs. We examine whether Latino immigration and Latino dominance of low-skill industries increases black urban violence. Using city-level data for the year 2000, we find that (1. Latino immigration is positively linked to urban black violence, (2. the link is most prevalent where blacks lost ground to Latinos in low-skill markets, (3. not all low-skill sectors operate in unison; black violence rises only when jobs in agriculture, manufacturing and construction are in short supply and, (4. Latino immigration raises black violence by first increasing black unemployment. We discuss the implications of these findings.