The Effect of E-Verify Laws on Crime

68 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2019

See all articles by Brandyn Churchill

Brandyn Churchill

Vanderbilt University

Andrew Dickinson

University of Oregon

Taylor Mackay

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

Joseph Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Abstract

E-Verify laws, which have been adopted by 23 states, require employers to verify whether new employees are eligible to legally work prior to employment. In the main, these laws are designed to reduce employment opportunities for unauthorized immigrants, reduce incentives for their immigration, and increase employment and earnings for low-skilled natives. This study explores the impact of state E-Verify laws on crime. Using agency-by-month data from the 2004 to 2015 National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), we find that the enactment of E-Verify is associated with a 5 to 10 percent reduction in property crimes involving Hispanic arrestees, an effect driven by universal E-Verify mandates that extend to private employers. Supplemental analyses from the Current Population Survey (CPS) suggest that E-Verify-induced increases in employment of low-skilled natives of Hispanic descent, and outmigration of younger Hispanics are important channels. We find no evidence that crime was displaced to nearby U.S. jurisdictions without E-Verify or that violent crime was impacted by E-Verify mandates. Moreover, neither arrests nor labor market outcomes of white or African American adults were affected by E-Verify laws. The magnitudes of our estimates suggest that E-Verify mandates generated $491 million in social benefits of reduced crime to the United States.

Keywords: E-Verify, immigration, crime, employment

JEL Classification: K14, J61

Suggested Citation

Churchill, Brandyn and Dickinson, Andrew and Mackay, Taylor and Sabia, Joseph, The Effect of E-Verify Laws on Crime. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12798, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3495775

Brandyn Churchill (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Andrew Dickinson

University of Oregon

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Taylor Mackay

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

Joseph Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
13
Abstract Views
167
PlumX Metrics