“Train Wreck: US Immigration and Border Policy 1965-2010”
Abstract: Despite the massive increase in border enforcement after 1986, undocumented population growth did not decrease, but rose. In this talk I undertake a systematic analysis of border enforcement as a policy for immigration control. Empirical results explain not only why it failed, but how and why it backfired. In the end, the militarization of the border did not increase the probability of apprehension at the border or reduce the likelihood of unauthorized entry; but it did dramatically change the geography of border crossing, increase the costs of undocumented migration, and elevate the physical risks of border crossing. Ironically, these trends had no effect on the likelihood of undocumented departure for the United States, but instead reduced the probability undocumented returns back to Mexico, thereby increasing the net volume of undocumented migration and accelerating undocumented population growth.
The Center for the Study of International Migration
The Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility Working Group
The Center for Mexican Studies