Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

An Exploration of State-level Differences in Migration Control and their Effects on US Migration Patterns

Governments in Western Europe and North America increasingly try to exclude unauthorized migrants from labor markets and public provisions, and apprehend and deport unauthorized migrants who have settled in the territory.

This presentation, which focuses on the case of the USA, demonstrates that such policies and practices of ‘internal border control’ can be measured; it is shown that since 2005 in particular, internal border control has become more prevalent in the USA, especially in Southern states.

Evidence is presented for a negative bivariate relationship between the degree of internal border control and the estimated rate of growth of unauthorized residence; states with the highest degree of interior control tended to experience the strongest decline in the growth of the unauthorized population. We mention four plausible interpretations of this bivariate relationship, and suggest various avenues for further research.

The results are based on a primary analysis of three indicators of internal control (employer participation in E-verify, restrictive state laws, county and city involvement in the 287g program) and a secondary analysis of unauthorized population estimates.