Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Juan José Bustamante

Committee Member

Lauren Sabon

Second Committee Member

Justin Anthony Barnum


2016, anti-immigration rhetoric, diversity, Latino immigration, presidential election


The political race for the 2016 United States President brimmed with conflict over an array of issues, notably Latino immigration from Mexico and Latin America to the U.S. The rhetoric of then Presidential Candidate Donald Trump centered around the idea that Mexico was not sending its finest immigrants; that, in place, they were sending rapists and criminals. This rhetoric was heard loud and clear and has since affected various U.S. policies and programs that actively exclude Latino immigrants. Using census data from 2015, rates of immigration and rates of violent crime were compared against 2016 election results, all at the county-level. The goal was to assess whether county-level rates of violent crime or the county-level rates of Latino immigrants were correlated with how these communities ultimately voted in the 2016 election. Whereas existing literature reveals overall immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S. born citizens, this research show that counties with higher rates of immigration are more likely to vote Democrat, net other key predictors, regardless of crime rate; counties with lower rates of immigration are more likely to vote Republican, regardless of crime rate and net other key predictors.