Ricardo Martinez-Schuldt. Immigrant sanctuaries and crime-reporting behavior

Hybrid: via Zoom and in-person at 402 Social Sciences Building

Immigrant “sanctuary” jurisdictions have recently reentered U.S. political discourse and engendered contentious debates regarding their legality and influence on public safety. Critics argue that sanctuary jurisdictions threaten local communities by impeding federal immigration enforcement efforts. Proponents maintain that the policies improve public safety by fostering institutional trust within immigrant communities and by increasing the willingness of immigrant community members to notify the police after they are victimized – changes which bolster community levels of formal and informal social control. In this presentation, I situate expectations from the immigrant sanctuary literature within a multilevel, contextualized help-seeking framework and discuss how crime-reporting behavior empirically varies across immigrant sanctuary contexts over a 25-year period.


Ricardo Martínez-Schuldt is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. His research examines processes related to international migration in the North American migratory system. The primary focus of his work is on the role of the Mexican consulate in providing socio-legal support to Mexican nationals that face human rights, labor, and family-related issues while living abroad. Additionally, he conducts research on neighborhood- and city-level correlates of crime, crime-reporting behavior, and police shootings. In particular, his research assesses the effect of “sanctuary” policies on city-level violence as well as their impact on the likelihood that individuals report crime victimization to law enforcement.