Loren Collingwood, Jason Morin, and Stephen Omar El-Khatib. “Expanding Carceral Markets: Detention Facilities, ICE Contracts, and the Financial Interests of Punitive Immigration Policy” Race and Social Problems . 10(4). p. 275-292. (2018).
On the night of November 8, 2016, once election results showed an almost certain presidential victory for Donald Trump, private prison stock values increased. Trump’s harsh anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric, followed by his attempted crackdown on sanctuary cities (and immigrants more generally), had the potential to expand the carceral market to greater shares of undocumented immigrants. We develop a theory of carceral market expansion, arguing that private actors seek to expand carceral markets – for profit – just as in any other market. This paper examines whether private companies, like CCA and GEO, that contract with Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) to operate detention facilities exert influence over federal anti-sanctuary legislation in the 113th and 114th Congresses. Specifically, we examine 1) Whether campaign donations made by private prison companies and other contractors to state legislators (carceral lobbying hypothesis), and 2) Having a privately owned or managed ICE detention facility in a legislator’s district (carceral representation hypothesis) increases the probability that legislators will co-sponsor more harsh immigration legislation in the U.S. states. We find strong support for the carceral representation hypothesis but limited to no support for the careceral lobbying hypothesis.
Benjamin Gonzalez-O'Brien, Loren Collingwood, and Stephen Omar El-Khatib. “The Politics of Refuge: Sanctuary Cities, Crime and Undocumented Immigration" Urban Affairs Review. 55(1): 3-40. (2019).
This article assesses the claim that sanctuary cities—defined as cities that expressly forbid city officials or police departments from inquiring into an individual’s immigration status—are associated with post hoc increases in crime. We employ a causal inference matching strategy to compare similarly situated cities where key variables are the same across the cities except the sanctuary status of the city. We find no statistically discernible difference in violent crime, rape, or property crime rates across the cities. Our findings provide evidence that sanctuary policies have no effect on crime rates, despite narratives to the contrary. The potential benefits of sanctuary cities, such as better incorporation of the undocumented community and cooperation with police, thus have little cost for the cities in question in terms of crime.
Loren Collingwood, Stephen Omar El-Khatib, and Benjamin Gonzalez-O’Brien. “Sustained Organizational Influence: American Legislative Exchange Council and the Diffusion of Anti-Sanctuary Policy” Policy Studies Journal. 47(3): 735-773. (2019).
Building upon existing literature, we offer a particular model of network policy diffusion -- which we call sustained organizational influence. Sustained organizational influence necessitates an institutional focus across a broad range of issues and across a long period of time. Sustaining organizations are well-financed, and exert their influence on legislators through benefits, shared ideological interests, and time-saving opportunities. Sustaining organizations' centralized nature makes legislators' jobs easier by providing legislators with ready-made model legislation. We argue that sustaining organizations uniquely contribute to policy diffusion in the U.S. states. We evaluate this model with a case study of state-level immigration sanctuary policy making and the role that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) played in disseminating model legislation. Through quantitative text analysis and several negative binomial state-level regression models, we demonstrate that ALEC has exerted an overwhelming influence on the introduction of anti-sanctuary legislative proposals in the U.S. states over the past 7 years consistent with our particular model of network policy diffusion.
Sumaia Al-Kohlani, Heather Campbell, and Stephen Omar El-Khatib. "Going Beyond Census-Measured Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Minority Faith and Environmental Justice”
Decades of research into environmental justice (EJ), including meta-analyses, indicates that Census-measured US racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately impacted by environmentally harmful sites and policies, even more than the poor. Yet the US Census does not measure all types of minority status, and both US and world history show that another attribute targeted for discrimination is minority religious affiliation. This leads to the question as to whether there may be an “EJ effect" for religious minorities, in which they, too, are disproportionately collocated with harmful pollutants, even controlling for race, ethnicity, and income. If so, this has health consequences for the discriminated-against groups and therefore policy implications. Because the US Census does not measure religious affiliation, the research presented here uses US tax records on 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to create a database that locates Mosques, Temples and Synagogues within Census Tracts for the entire contiguous US, and combines these data with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EJSCREEN data from the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) to analyze whether the presence of a Jewish,
Muslim, or Buddhist or Hindu house of worship increases the likelihood of air pollution risk. Using multivariate regression analysis to measure the association between houses of worship and air toxics lifetime cancer risk, respiratory hazard index, and Diesel particulate matter, we confirm that these pollutants disproportionately impact Census-measured racial and ethnic minorities and also find that two non-Census-measured religious minorities are impacted: Jews and Muslims.
Matt Barreto, Stephen Omar El-Khatib, Natalie Masuoka, and Gabriel Sanchez. “Religiosity, Discrimination, and Group Identity Among Muslim Americans” Politics of Groups and Identities [R&R]
Some political observers argue that a unified Muslim community exists, while others note that Muslims are too diverse to be considered a cohesive group. Despite competing claims, these empirical questions have not been answered by social scientists. Using a unique public opinion survey, we examine the form and strength of group identity among Muslim Americans. Specifically, we test the influence of perceptions of discrimination, degree of religiosity, and diversity of the mosque on two forms of Muslim group attachments: group identification and consciousness. We find that despite the significant diversity found within the Muslim population, a strong group identity exists even in racially diverse prayer locations. We find that religiosity is a strong source of both forms of identification but denominational diversity can dampen perceived group cohesion.
Stephen El-Khatib. “The Muslims Next Door: How Proximity to Mosques Impacts Political Attitudes” [In Progress]
Reports of hate crime, vandalism, and protest targeting religious establishments have exponentially increased over the past decade in the United States. This study seeks to understand whether proximity to outgroup religious establishments impacts national policy attitudes. We contend that proximity to places of outgroup religious congregation activates outgroup threat and drives individuals to support invasive government surveillance programs. To test our claims, we develop an innovative dataset which geographically contextualizes responses captured by election studies surveys in proximity to various religious establishments. We demonstrate that non-Muslim proximity to Muslim places of congregation increases support for a series of punitive policies aimed at Muslim Americans. Additionally, we conduct interviews in and around neighborhoods with mosques to provide further evidence of such a proximal impact and to rule out potential endogenous confounders. Our results confirm our initial hypotheses, and provide critical nuance previously missing within the extant literature. Additionally, we further prevailing theories that speak directly to racialization, out-group contact, threat, and context.
John Burnett, Stephen Omar El-Khatib, Beyzanur Han Tuncez, and Michelangelo Landgrave. “How Can I Get Involved? Gender Differences in Activism” [In Progress]
Do local legislators respond unequally to their constituents’ request for public information? In this audit study of over 3,000 U.S. state and local legislators we examine whether (hypothetical) male and female students’ requests for government information (regarding healthcare and community improvement) are equally responded to. In our analysis we examine potential differences in the frequency of response, quality of response, and to whom responses originate from – be it the legislator or their staff. In our correspondence experiment we additionally vary the content of our constituents’ request for information, wherein legislators are asked to provide information on gendered or non-gendered issues. In the work that follows, we find important variation from previous audit studies by allowing for moderators related to legislator’s partisanship, district characteristics. Implications for future studies are discussed.