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Illegal Immigration, State Law, and Deterrence

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  • Mark Hoekstra
  • Sandra Orozco-Aleman

Abstract

A critical immigration policy question is whether state and federal policy can deter undocumented workers from entering the U.S. We examine whether Arizona SB 1070, arguably the most restrictive and controversial state immigration law ever passed, deterred entry into Arizona. We do so by exploiting a unique data set from a survey of undocumented workers passing through Mexican border towns on their way to the U.S. Results indicate the bill’s passage reduced the flow of undocumented immigrants into Arizona by 30 to 70 percent, suggesting that undocumented workers from Mexico are responsive to changes in state immigration policy. In contrast, we find no evidence that the law induced undocumented immigrants already in Arizona to return to Mexico.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Hoekstra & Sandra Orozco-Aleman, 2014. "Illegal Immigration, State Law, and Deterrence," NBER Working Papers 20801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20801
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Davila, Alberto & Pagan, Jose A, 1997. "The Effect of Selective INS Monitoring Strategies on the Industrial Employment Choice and Earnings of Recent Immigrants," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 138-150, January.
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    8. C. Bansak & S. Raphael, "undated". "Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1181-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2016. "Do state work eligibility verification laws reduce unauthorized immigration?," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, December.
    2. Kaz Miyagiwa & Yasuhiro Sato, 2019. "Illegal immigration, unemployment, and multiple destinations," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 118-144, January.
    3. Martínez Flores, Fernanda, 2018. "The deterrence effect of immigration enforcement in transit countries: Evidence from Central American deportees," Ruhr Economic Papers 749, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Zhang, Yinjuejie & Palma, Marco & Xu, Zhicheng, 2016. "Effects of the Alabama HB 56 Immigration Law on Crime: A Synthetic Control Approach," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229780, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Samuel Bazzi & Sarah Burns & Gordon Hanson & Bryan Roberts & John Whitley, 2019. "Deterring Illegal Entry: Migrant Sanctions and Recidivism in Border Apprehensions," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-329, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    6. Maria Esther Caballero & Brian C. Cadena & Brian K. Kovak, 2018. "Measuring Geographic Migration Patterns Using Matrículas Consulares," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(3), pages 1119-1145, June.
    7. Sandra Orozco-Aleman & Heriberto Gonzalez-Lozano, 2018. "Labor Market Effects of Immigration Policies Border Enforcement and Amnesty," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 150-177, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law

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