Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Activities Mobilize Hispanic Voters

23 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2020

See all articles by Cory B. Smith

Cory B. Smith

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Donghee Jo

Northeastern University

David Lazer

Northeastern University - Department of Political Science; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: July 31, 2020

Abstract

Do activities by immigration enforcement agencies suppress or mobilize Hispanic voters? To answer this question, we exploit the sharp discontinuity in the legal authority of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the boundary of the 100-mile interior US border zone. We find that CBP activities increased Hispanic voter registration and turnout in the 2016 US general election by 1.8pp and 1.5pp, respectively. We suggest that the main mechanism is via personal experiences—observing or hearing about CBP activities—as opposed to elite-driven campaigns that are unlikely to be spatially discontinuous. We also estimate the electoral consequences of CBP activities through a simulation exercise and find a small increase in the Democratic Party's representation in the US Congress.

Keywords: Immigration enforcement, turnout, CBP, Regression Discontinuity, Border Zone

JEL Classification: D7, J15

Suggested Citation

Smith, Cory B. and Jo, Donghee and Lazer, David, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Activities Mobilize Hispanic Voters (July 31, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3664854 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3664854

Cory B. Smith

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Donghee Jo (Contact Author)

Northeastern University ( email )

301 Lake Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.dongheejo.com

David Lazer

Northeastern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-2796 (Phone)
617-373-5311 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Taubman Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-0102 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.davidlazer.com

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