What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA

51 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018

See all articles by Alessandra Casarico

Alessandra Casarico

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Giovanni Facchini

University of Nottingham

Tommaso Frattini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

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.

Keywords: amnesties, migration policy, Roll Call Votes

JEL Classification: F22, O51

Suggested Citation

Casarico, Alessandra and Facchini, Giovanni and Frattini, Tommaso, What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA (March 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12790. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3143440

Alessandra Casarico (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Giovanni Facchini

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Tommaso Frattini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
Italy

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

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