Discussion paper

DP12790 What drives the legalization of immigrants? Evidence from IRCA

We develop a model to understand the trade-offs faced by an elected representative
in supporting an amnesty when a restrictive immigration policy is
in place. We show that an amnesty is more desirable the more restricted are
the occupational opportunities of undocumented immigrants and the smaller is
the fiscal leakage to undocumented immigrants via the welfare state. Empirical
evidence based on the voting behaviour of U.S. Congressmen on the Immigration
Reform and Control Act of 1986 provides strong support for the predictions of
our theoretical model.

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Citation

Facchini, G, A Casarico and T Frattini (eds) (2018), “DP12790 What drives the legalization of immigrants? Evidence from IRCA”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 12790. https://cepr.org/publications/dp12790