Do Local Immigration Laws Impact Employment and Wages? Evidence from the 287(g) Program

Robert Santillano, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Sarah Bohn, Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

In the absence of comprehensive federal government action to address unauthorized immigration in the U.S., state and local governments have enacted their own policies. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has enabled local efforts to address illegal immigration by building partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration law. One of the most popular is the 287(g) program, enacted in over 60 localities across 24 states. However, the economic impact of these local policies is unknown. Using a constructed panel dataset of economic outcomes, and an empirical strategy relying on contiguous-county pairs, we evaluate the impact of 287(g) on county-level employment and wages. Our findings can shed light on both the impact on the overall scale of employment in local areas as well as employment in immigrant-specific industries.

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Presented in Poster Session 3