Deterring Illegal Entry: Migrant Sanctions and Recidivism in Border Apprehensions

33 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2018

See all articles by Samuel Bazzi

Samuel Bazzi

Boston University - Department of Economics

Sarah Burns

Institute for Defense Analyses

Gordon H. Hanson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bryan Roberts

BearingPoint

John Whitley

Bank of England

Date Written: September 2018

Abstract

Over 2008 to 2012, the U.S. Border Patrol enacted new sanctions on migrants apprehended attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. Using administrative records on apprehensions of Mexican nationals that include fingerprint-based IDs and other details, we detect if an apprehended migrant is subject to penalties and if he is later re-apprehended. Exploiting plausibly random variation in the roll-out of sanctions, we estimate econometrically that exposure to penalties reduced the 18-month re-apprehension rate for males by 4.6 to 6.1 percentage points off of a baseline rate of 24.2%. These magnitudes imply that sanctions can account for 28 to 44 percent of the observed decline in recidivism in apprehensions. Further results suggest that the drop in recidivism was associated with a reduction in attempted illegal entry.

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Suggested Citation

Bazzi, Samuel and Burns, Sarah and Hanson, Gordon H. and Roberts, Bryan Wilson and Whitley, John, Deterring Illegal Entry: Migrant Sanctions and Recidivism in Border Apprehensions (September 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25100. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3258197

Samuel Bazzi (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Sarah Burns

Institute for Defense Analyses ( email )

4850 Mark Center Dr
Alexandria, VA 22311
United States

Gordon H. Hanson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Bryan Wilson Roberts

BearingPoint ( email )

1676 International Drive
McLean, VA 22102
United States

John Whitley

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

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