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Enforcement and Immigrant Location Choice

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  • Tara Watson

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of local immigration enforcement regimes on the migration decisions of the foreign born. Specifically, the analysis uses individual level American Community Survey data to examine the effect of recent 287(g) agreements which allow state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce Federal immigration law. The results suggest that one type of 287(g) agreement – the controversial local “task force” model emphasizing street enforcement – nearly doubles the propensity for the foreign-born to relocate within the United States. The largest effects are observed among non-citizens with college education, suggesting that aggressive enforcement policies may be missing their intended targets. No similar effect is found for the native born. After the extreme case of Maricopa County is excluded, there is no evidence that local enforcement causes the foreign-born to exit the United States or deters their entry from abroad. Rather, 287(g) task force agreements encourage the foreign born to move to a new Census division or region within the United States.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19626.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19626

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  1. David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Working papers 98-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Kostandini, Genti & Mykerezi, Elton & Escalante, Cesar L., 2012. "The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on the Farming Sector," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 127674, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Do amnesty programs reduce undocumented immigration? Evidence from Irca," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 437-450, August.
  5. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Immigration and housing rents in American cities," Working Papers 03-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Ira N. Gang & Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein, 2002. "Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants," Departmental Working Papers 200217, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  7. Tara Watson, 2010. "Inside the Refrigerator: Immigration Enforcement and Chilling Effects in Medicaid Participation," NBER Working Papers 16278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cynthia Bansak, 2005. "The Differential Wage Impact of the Immigration Reform and Control Act on Latino Ethnic Subgroups," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(s1), pages 1279-1298.
  9. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1998. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," NBER Working Papers 6813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Patricia Cort�s & Jos� Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
  12. Buckley, F. H., 1996. "The political economy of immigration policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 81-99, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Fernando Antonio Lozano, 2014. "On the Effectiveness of SB1070 in Arizona," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1423, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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