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Deport or legalize? An Economic Analysis of US Immigration Reform


  • Aguiar, Angel
  • Terrie Walmsley


The prevalence of undocumented workers in the United States is a sensitive issue for U.S. policy makers with numerous policy responses contemplated by several different administrations. This paper examines the impact of possible reforms to U.S. immigration policy with respect to undocumented workers on the U.S. and Mexican economies. Using a global trade and migration model that considers undocumented workers, we find that undocumented workers have a positive impact on the U.S. economy and on the agricultural sector. Legalization of these undocumented workers emerges as the preferred option, although additional considerations may be required to assist the agricultural sector.

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  • Aguiar, Angel & Terrie Walmsley, 2013. "Deport or legalize? An Economic Analysis of US Immigration Reform," GTAP Working Papers 4257, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  • Handle: RePEc:gta:workpp:4257
    Note: GTAP Working Paper No. 74

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    Cited by:

    1. Aguiar, Angel H. & Walmsley, Terrie L., 2014. "The importance of timing in the U.S. response to undocumented immigrants: A recursive dynamic approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 253-262.
    2. Kabir, Kayenat & Keeney, Roman M., 2017. "Modeling undocumented migration from Mexico to the United States – A structural examination of available information and options for analysis," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258376, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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