A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Federal Prosecution of Immigration Crimes
15 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2015 Last revised: 18 Jan 2016
Date Written: 2014
Immigration crimes are the most prosecuted federal crimes in America. This Article examines the benefits of the federal prosecution of immigration crimes (training, deterrence, and signaling/expression) and balances those benefits against the costs of such prosecutions (court-house costs, alternative prosecution, and incarceration). I conclude that deportation immediately following a conviction for an immigration crime appears to capture the key benefit of this system (signaling/expression) while alleviating its greatest expense (incarceration).
Keywords: immigration, crime, prosecution, cost, economics, deportation
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K14, K42, F22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation