IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Immigration Reform, the INS, and the Distribution of Interior and Border Enforcement Resources


  • Davila, Alberto
  • Pagan, Jose A
  • Grau, Montserrat Viladrich


This paper investigates the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) interior and border enforcement effort allocation choice following the enactment of Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. The INS increasingly allocated a disproportionate amount of resources along the border as a result of the new law. It is contended that this behavior is consistent with that of a public agency intent on maximizing its budget and not in accord with minimizing the undocumented population in the United States. The theory developed here is then used to evaluate proposals that could potentially reconcile the INS's objectives with those of the policymakers and the public. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Davila, Alberto & Pagan, Jose A & Grau, Montserrat Viladrich, 1999. "Immigration Reform, the INS, and the Distribution of Interior and Border Enforcement Resources," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 327-345, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:99:y:1999:i:3-4:p:327-45

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kittsteiner, Thomas & Eyster, Erik, 2007. "Party platforms in electoral competition with heterogeneous constituencies," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(1), pages 41-70, March.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:01:p:142-157_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, May.
    4. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Hess, Gregory D., 1996. "A Spatial Theory of Positive and Negative Campaigning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-229, December.
    5. Dix, Manfred & Santore, Rudy, 2002. "Candidate ability and platform choice," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-194, July.
    6. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:03:p:595-609_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82.
    9. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    10. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    11. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, September.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:57:y:1963:i:02:p:368-377_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Weber, S., 1989. "On Hierarchical Spatial Competition," Papers 89-04, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
    14. repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:01:p:55-68_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Snyder, James M, Jr, 2000. "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 327-336, June.
    16. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gawel, Erik & Heuson, Clemens & Lehmann, Paul, 2012. "Efficient public adaptation to climate change: An investigation of drivers and barriers from a Public Choice perspective," UFZ Discussion Papers 14/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    2. Manuela Angelucci, 2012. "US Border Enforcement and the Net Flow of Mexican Illegal Migration," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(2), pages 311-357.
    3. Gordon Hanson, 2010. "The Governance of Migration Policy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 185-207.
    4. Davila, Alberto & Pagan, Jose A. & Soydemir, Gokce, 2002. "The short-term and long-term deterrence effects of INS border and interior enforcement on undocumented immigration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 459-472, December.
    5. Hanson, Gordon H., 2010. "International Migration and the Developing World," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline & Lukens, Leslie, 2008. "Why stop there? Mexican migration to the U.S. border region," Working Papers 0803, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    7. Tara Watson, 2014. "Inside the Refrigerator: Immigration Enforcement and Chilling Effects in Medicaid Participation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 313-338, August.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:99:y:1999:i:3-4:p:327-45. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.