Gamino, Eric (2015-08). Racialized Policing on the south Texas-Mexico Border: Mexican American Police Officers' Racialization of Latin-Origin Unauthorized Immigrants. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Studies on the police have centered on a variety of issues such as racial profiling, citizen perceptions of police, and police malpractice. However, absent from this body of research is a specific focus on Latino police officers. There is little to no mention of Latino police officers in the current academic literature. Hence, the aim of this study is to illustrate the relationship between Mexican American police officers and their co-ethnic immigrant counterparts. In particular, this study examines how Mexican American police officers racialize Latin-origin unauthorized immigrants. Data for this ethnographic study was collected in a medium-sized police department located on the south Texas-Mexico border over a twenty-month period from 2012 to 2014. The author was a police officer during the data collection phase of the study. Thus, the findings are illustrated from an auto-ethnographic context. The results reveal that Mexican American police officers racialize their co-ethnic immigrant counterparts through the use of derogatory terminology, and as being criminals or being a drain on U.S. social services. From this racialization process, the anti-Latin immigrant subframe emerges, which is derived from the white racial frame.
  • Studies on the police have centered on a variety of issues such as racial profiling, citizen perceptions of police, and police malpractice. However, absent from this body of research is a specific focus on Latino police officers. There is little to no mention of Latino police officers in the current academic literature. Hence, the aim of this study is to illustrate the relationship between Mexican American police officers and their co-ethnic immigrant counterparts. In particular, this study examines how Mexican American police officers racialize Latin-origin unauthorized immigrants.



    Data for this ethnographic study was collected in a medium-sized police department located on the south Texas-Mexico border over a twenty-month period from 2012 to 2014. The author was a police officer during the data collection phase of the study. Thus, the findings are illustrated from an auto-ethnographic context. The results reveal that Mexican American police officers racialize their co-ethnic immigrant counterparts through the use of derogatory terminology, and as being criminals or being a drain on U.S. social services. From this racialization process, the anti-Latin immigrant subframe emerges, which is derived from the white racial frame.

publication date

  • August 2015