Illegal Immigration and Crime in San Diego and El Paso Counties, 1985-1986 (ICPSR 9330)

Published: Jan 18, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Susan Pennell; Christine Curtis; Jeff Tayman

Version V1

This study was conducted to examine whether a rising crime rate in El Paso, Texas and San Diego, California in 1986 could be attributed to, among other factors, the influx of undocumented aliens. Variables include level of involvement of undocumented aliens in serious felony arrests in San Diego and El Paso Counties, the outcome of serious felony arrest cases involving undocumented persons compared to others arrested for similar offenses, the impact of arrests of undocumented aliens on the criminal justice system in terms of workload and cost, the extent that criminal justice agencies coordinate their efforts to apprehend and process undocumented aliens who have committed serious crimes in San Diego and El Paso counties, and how differences in agency objectives impede or enhance coordination. Data are also provided on how many undocumented persons were arrested/convicted for repeat offense in these counties and which type of policies or procedures could be implemented in criminal justice agencies to address the issue of crimes committed by undocumented aliens. Data were collected in the two cities with focus on serious felony offenses. The collection includes sociodemographic characteristics, citizenship status, current arrest, case disposition, and prior criminal history with additional data from San Diego to compute the costs involving undocumented aliens.

Pennell, Susan, Curtis, Christine, and Tayman, Jeff. Illegal Immigration and Crime in San Diego and El Paso Counties, 1985-1986. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-18.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (86-IJ-CX-0038)

1985 -- 1986

1987 -- 1988

In El Paso all arrests for selected offenses were included. In San Diego all homicide and rape arrests were included. A stratified random sample with equal probabilities used to select 40 percent of the arrests was chosen within each of the other offense categories, which included robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, grand theft and motor vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, and felony narcotics offenses.

Serious felony offense arrests in El Paso County, Texas and San Diego County, California.

Law enforcement arrest reports and records, sheriff's booking files, prosecutor files, court files, state criminal history rap sheets, and Immigration Naturalization Service (INS) records

event/transaction data



2006-01-18 File CB9330.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.