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The Rescaling of US Immigration Policy: A Socio-spatial Analysis of Enforcement in Herndon, Virginia Open Access

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In the past two decades metropolitan Washington DC has experienced rapid growth in its foreign-born population and is now considered by many as an important immigrant gateway. Many jurisdictions in the region have successfully accommodated the needs of a diverse and growing immigrant population. Yet, recently in the outer suburban counties, a host of policies have been proposed and enacted that have alienated their foreign-born populations, especially Latinos. Restrictions on social resources, strict zoning to discourage overcrowding of residences, anti-loitering laws, closure of formal day labor sites, proposed English language only amendments, and frequent checks on immigration status are examples of the exclusionary policies employed by some jurisdictions. This thesis specifically examines the enacted immigration enforcement policies by the town of Herndon, Virginia. This study explores where and why local jurisdictions have chosen to engage in collaborative agreements with federal agencies to enforce immigration laws. In addition, it examines the implications of strict local enforcement policies on immigrant integration and incorporation.

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