This interesting and accessible volume examines several immigrant populations and explores why waves of youthful crime emerge in some of those populations but not in others. Author Tony Waters uses data from 100 years of Unites States immigration records (particularly in California) to examine immigrant groups such as Laotians, Koreans, and Mexicans in the late 20th century, as well as Mexicans and Molokan Russians in the early 20th century.
Crime and Immigrant Youth is a unique study of migration as a process that sometimes leads to youthful crime beyond the norms of either the home or host culture. Water concludes that when an immigrant group has a large population of young males (and not all immigrant groups do), it creates the potential for patterned misunderstandings between immigrant parents and their children. This situation, in turn, provides conditions for a predictable outbreak of crime within deviant subcultures (i.e. gangs), as shown in numerous case examples. Waters also explains how youthful immigrant crime often erupts because of the structural relationships between immigrant groups and the host community rather than the cultural differences imported from abroad.