This mixed-methods study contributes to the emerging literature on immigration and law enforcement practices by measuring variation in attitudes toward the police across first- and second-generation immigrants in a survey sample of young individuals aged 18–25 stopped by the New York City Police Department (N = 508). We supplement results from these models with insights from interviews with other youth and their caregivers (N = 77). Findings show that foreign-born (first generation) youth generally exhibit more positive perceptions of police “effectiveness,” while those born in the United States to at least one foreign-born parent (second generation) are more likely to report more negative perceptions of “legitimacy.” The salience of immigration in these models, however, is weakened by the youths’ number of reported police stops as well as their perceived fairness and neutrality. Findings highlight the importance of considering police contact as a moderator of police attitudes as well as the need to unpack measures of police performance across subdomains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- attitudes toward the police
- communities and crime
- police stops