In 2008, Ecuadorean migrant Marcelo Lucero was murdered in Patchogue, New York, by seven White, Black, and Hispanic teenagers who described what they had done as “Mexican hopping.” A widespread belief emerged, including in scholarly publications, that the killing reflected pervasive racism directed at Latin American migrants, particularly vulnerable undocumented ones. The killing and the public discourses that emerged from it led community organizations to sponsor events and programs to teach ethno-racial tolerance and the local government to prescribe sensitivity training for police and other public officials. However, the assumptions that drove such policies remain untested by research. This article seeks to address this lacuna through a respondent driven sampling survey of 146 Central American migrants who reported victimization during the previous twelve months in neighboring Nassau County in 2008. Findings suggest that anti-racist correctives meant to address the Lucero killing did not meet the needs or concerns of the majority of violently victimized migrants whose primary vulnerability appears to be based on legal status and their status as part of the roughly 20 percent of the United States that is un- or under-banked, more than, or in addition to, their racial or ethnic identity.

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