Disparities in immigration enforcement and deportation across communities have been evident—marked by geographic concentration, racial profiling, and gendered outcomes. Despite recognizing immigration raids as one of the most aggressive tactics within US immigration policy, their nature largely remains a black box. Therefor this study intends to shed light on the complex landscape of immigration raids, offering a thorough depiction of their prevalence, patterns, and the diverse impacts on communities, ultimately contributing to a more nuanced comprehension of immigration enforcement experiences in the United States.
This research project aims to achieve two primary objectives:
Motivated by the rise in "indebted" migration, this project investigates where is debt migration originating in Mexico, what economic conditions are associated with rates of debt migration, and who is leveraging debt to fund their migration attempts. This study contributes to further understanding migration stratification processes and has implications for the production of inequality in sending and receiving communities.
Through increased border enforcement, the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act changed US-Mexico migration flows. Motivated by the rise in utilization of coyotes and soaring coyote fees, I hypothesize that the burden of migration costs due to border enforcement is unequally distributed among migrants.
I leverage the Mexican Migration Project data to operationalize migration cost through payments for human smuggling services. Implementing a Heckman Model to correct for selection on coyote usage, this paper investigates: (1) how has coyote pricing changed in a post-IRCA era; (2) what role does demographic composition of migration flows and social networks play in explaining fees paid to coyotes; (3) what role does immigration enforcement play in explaining coyote payments; (4) how have the relationships between migration costs and human capital, social capital and enforcement changed post-1986?
This paper quantitatively analyzes which type of migrants is most vulnerable to “indebted crossings”, a phenomenon recently exposed by qualitative research. This paper offers a first step towards addressing concerns of debt, wealth transfers and intergenerational inequality in Mexican sending communities.