Alternative Outcomes of Reform

Portes, Alejandro; Kincaid, A. Douglas
May 1985
Society;May/Jun85, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p73
Academic Journal
This article examines the consequences for the U.S. labor market of three alternative scenarios: the failure to pass an immigration reform bill, the passage of a bill with weak or ineffective provisions for discouraging the use of illegal labor and the passage of a bill which would lead to an effective reduction in such practices. In reality, the absence of reform is not likely to have drastic consequences. First, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has been voted the largest budget increase in its history for 1985, providing for a 35 percent increase in border enforcement manpower. This can be expected to raise the detention rate among illegal entrants. Second, numerous studies in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and other sending countries have shown that the poorest of the poor, however numerous and miserable, are not those who migrate.


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