Immigration Amnesty and Immigrant's Earnings
AbstractWe review the role immigration amnesties have played in US immigration policy, placing them in the context of similar programs embarked upon by other nations. The theory of amnesties suggests rent-seeking, bargaining, and costs as reasons for a country offering an amnesty, often in conjunction with increased border controls, internal enforcement and employer penalties. We model an immigration amnesty in which the destination country has a formal sector employing only legal immigrants, an informal sector employing both legal and illegal immigrants, and open unemployment. The model focuses on the productivity enhancing effects of legalization, and establishes specific conditions under which unemployment, the informal sector and the formal sectors increase/decrease in size. Building on these insights, our empirical work examines Mexican migration to the US. We study who are migrants; among migrants, who are legalized via IRCA, and who are legalized via sponsorship of family or employer. Furthermore, to measure the impact of amnesty on welfare of migrants, we estimate earnings equations of various migrants groups.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 200632.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
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amnesty; illegal migration; border controls; IRCA;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Public Policy
- H59 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Other
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