U.S. immigration reform and the migration dynamics of Mexican males

Khulan Altangerel, Jan van Ours

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Abstract

The 1986 US Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was directed at tackling the problem of growing unauthorized migration through legalization of unauthorized immigrants, increasing border security and sanctioning employers who hired unauthorized immigrants. Our paper investigates how the IRCA affected the migration dynamics of male Mexican immigrants focusing on their age of onset of migration and the duration of their first trip. We find that the IRCA reduced unauthorized migration to the US while it does not seem to have had a significant effect on the return rate from the US to Mexico of undocumented male immigrants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-485
JournalDe Economist
Volume165
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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Keywords

  • immigration policy
  • migrant behavior
  • undocumented immigrants

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