Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law
AbstractImmigration control-related audits and their resulting sanctions are not solely determined by impartial enforcement of laws and regulations. They are also determined by the incentives faced by vote-maximizing congressmen, agents acting on their behalf, and workers likely to compete with immigrants in the local labor market. In this paper we test to what extent congressional oversight, i.e., legislative involvement, determines the bureaucratic immigration enforcement process. We examine the determinants of decisions made at each stage of regulatory enforcement for over 40,000 audits from 1990 to 2000. This includes an analysis of the determinants of whether a firm is 1) found in violation, 2) whether a warning or fine issued, 3) the size of the fine issued, and 4) how much of dollar reduction fined employers were able to negotiate after the fact. Consistent with the hypothesis that locals will provide more tips to the enforcement agency when unemployment is high, we find that the number of audits conducted grows with increased local unemployment. We also find that a congressman's party affiliation and its interaction with committee membership, party rank, and party majority status, as well as firm size and local union membership, correlate to bureaucratic decisions made at every stage of immigration enforcement.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Towson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-04.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision: Mar 2012
Other versions of this item:
- Michael D. Makowsky & Thomas Stratmann, 2012. "Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law," CESifo Working Paper Series 3792, CESifo Group Munich.
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2012-04-10 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2012-04-10 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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