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Enforcement and Immigrant Location Choice

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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19626
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  1. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  2. Saiz, Albert, 2006. "Immigration and Housing Rents in American Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 2189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Bauer, Thomas & Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2002. "Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 3527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Åslund, Olof & Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2001. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Christiadi & Brian Cushing, 2007. "Conditional Logit, IIA, and Alternatives for Estimating Models of Interstate Migration," Working Papers Working Paper 2007-04, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  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. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2009. "The effects of tougher enforcement on the job prospects of recent Latin American immigrants," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 239-257.
  10. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Do amnesty programs reduce undocumented immigration? Evidence from Irca," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 437-450, August.
  12. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
  13. Tara Watson, 2010. "Inside the Refrigerator: Immigration Enforcement and Chilling Effects in Medicaid Participation," NBER Working Papers 16278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  15. repec:rri:wpaper:200704 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Buckley, F. H., 1996. "The political economy of immigration policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 81-99, March.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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