Drug Use and Immigration

DrugUse and Immigration

DrugUse and Immigration

Whatis the link between illegal immigrants and drug use? The researchquestion seeks to examine the relationship between the illegalimmigrants and crime by studying the drug use patterns in a sample ofarrested adults in Maricopa County. The researchers investigate thisarea because very few studies have been conducted to determine thelink between illegal immigration and drug use. Besides, the issue issignificant because the public perceives that illegal immigrationsare excessively involved in drug trade and use. Hence, the study willhelp in making reliable conclusions to either confirm or prove falsethe public’s opinions.

Thestudy collects information on a group of 3,050 convicts in MaricopaCounty, Arizona to examine their drug use patterns. The researchersdecided to use the information from Arizona because the area has asubstantial number of unauthorized immigrants. Thus, it makes up animportant study area to examine the relationship between crimepatterns and illegal immigration. The research uses numericalinformation of convicts arrested between from April 2007 to September2008 and transforms it into usable statistics, which makes itquantitative data. Therefore, the authors are using this informationto quantify drug use behaviors and generalize the results from thislarge sample population. Besides, this measurable data is used touncover the patterns of drug use among illegal immigrants andcompares the trends with those of the US citizens. Furthermore, thestudy uses individual interviews and self-reports to gather theinformation further proving it is quantitative data.

Thestudy uses the individual unit of analysis. It collected data fromrecently booked prisoners at 35 sites across the United States. Theinformation was obtained by interviewing individual prisoners andcompiling information from their self-report. The study considers anindividual’s gender, migrations status, age, ethnicity, livingarrangements, employment status, income, and educational background.The researchers ensure that the data will produce representativeresults for all the prisoners in Maricopa County. Thus, the use asystematic sampling protocol, conducting interviews after every twoweeks, and randomly selecting participants depending on the durationof their arrest assures reliable results. However, those inmates whohad been in custody for more than 48 hours were ineligible for thestudy due to the time limit on urinary analysis.

Druguse is the dependent variable because it is being affected by otherindependent variables. For example, an individual’s drug usepattern can be influenced by their immigration status. Hence, if theimmigration status changes from illegal to legal, it can change theirdrug use patterns. Defining drug use is quite broad and may includevarious concepts. Therefore, the researchers conceptualize dependentvariable as possession, sale, and use of any illegal drug. Theresearchers try to narrow the idea of drug use to include the threeaspects because they all contribute to the drug problems, which maylead to incarceration. They operationalized the dependent variable tomeasure the drug in different categories over a given period. First,the study analyzes the drug type and determines how often theprisoners have used the illegal drugs. Then, it measures the numberof times a prisoner has been arrested for the past 12 months. It alsodetermines the use of any illicit drugs in the past 30 days. Theurinalysis was also conducted to determine the type of drugs usedwithin the last 72 hours. Finally, the information collected thenexamines the use of four different drugs: cocaine, marijuana,methamphetamine, and opiates. Consequently, the study can measureeach variable and attain quantifiable results.