Karen Tejada-Peña Publishes on Policing and Immigrant Communities during COVID-19

September 13, 2023
Submitted By: Nicholas Ealy

Karen Tejada-Peña, associate professor of sociology in Hillyer College, recently published the peer-reviewed article “Examining ‘La Ayuda’: Law Enforcement and Latinos on Long Island During COVID-19” in a special edition of the International Journal of Conflict and Violence focusing on the local impacts and global questions of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, Tejada-Peña and Natalia Navas, a research assistant from Stony Brook University, examine how law enforcement agencies in Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau Counties reached out to Latino immigrant communities with a message to “educate and enforce.” Based on field notes from sixteen virtual meetings spanning five months, they argue that this messaging did not echo enough within these communities, as communication gaps persisted and continued to plague community/police relations. The article concludes with lessons learned in order to help police departments better serve and protect immigrant communities. 

The article stems from Tejada-Peña’s three-year research project funded by a $101,000 grant from the Russel Sage Foundation and is part of her larger book project Putting Them on ICE: Policing Salvadoran Communities on Long Island. Here, she examines how Salvadoran migrants are negatively affected by crimmigration, a merging of the immigration and criminal justice systems that together penalize immigrants more harshly.

You can read the article here.