You are here

On the Intended and Unintended Consequences of Enhanced U.S. Border and Interior Immigration Enforcement: Evidence from Mexican Deportees

December 2014

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes


The article examines responses from a large pool of Mexican citizens recently deported by the United States. The study attempts to estimate the consequences of increased border and interior immigration enforcement as captured by Operation Streamline and by Omnibus Immigration Laws. The study finds apprehension in borders affected by Operation Streamline did not have any significant effects on the willingness to attempt re-entry into the United States. However, apprehension in states with Omnibus Immigrations Laws was estimated to decrease willingness to attempt re-entry by 24 percentage points. The study also found that apprehension in borders with Operation Streamline in place were more likely to see immigrant engaging in life threatening behavior to enter the U.S, and more likely to be separated from family. Finally, the study estimates that as more areas adopt Omnibus Immigration Laws the percentage of immigrants receiving verbal and physical abuse increases significantly.

Read Now

Policy Implications

This article can be used in attempting to design effective immigration policy. The study estimates that current border policies are insufficient in reducing recidivism rates amongst illegal immigrants but has significant human costs. The study proposed looking into policy alternatives that factor in human costs such a family separation and verbal abuse. Omnibus Immigration laws appear to be more effective but still fall short of what the article describes as optimal policy.

Find Similar Civil Rights, Minority Issues, & Civil Liberties Research
Find Similar General/Not Specific Research
Find Similar Immigration Research