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Law Enforcement and Immigratio

      Two major periods of immigration
influxes since the turn of the century as well as the transformation of the
nation due to both illegal and legal immigration have determined large
Hispanic communities in many Western states. States like Texas, for
example, have struggled to define increasingly complex Hispanic communities
and create a response, both in the government and in law enforcement,
for addressing the needs of these large Hispanic communities.
         In recent years, an
obvious dichotomous view has come to the forefront of national debates
about the composition of Hispanic communities in border states and the
conflicts have arisen over immigrant and citizen rights, the rights of
the Hispanic Americans community as a whole, the negative correlates
attached to cultural and language differences, and the role of law
enforcement officers, both of Hispanic and non-Hispanic decent, in addressing
      Though varied communities have existed
in cities like El Paso, Pecos, and Rio Del for decades, changes in
immigration, both legal and illegal, have impacted the demographic
characteristics of a number of West Texas cities and towns and has underscored
divisions between predominant White (European American) communities and
predominantly Hispanic communities. Large-scale increases in
immigration from Latin American countries in Texas in general has gained national
attention, but it has also been recognized that cities like El Paso
have had a considerable Hispanic community since their founding and this
provides a substantial base for the integration of a modern and central
     In 1996 alone, 1.2 million legal and illegal
immigrants moved into the United States, primarily into urban regions of
New York New Jersey, Florida and Illinois, and in urban and rural
regions of California and Texas (especially in border cities like El Paso…

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