Chloe East, Associate Professor of Economics; Hani Mansour, Professor of Economics; and Andrea Velásquez, Associate Professor of Economics have recently published an article, "The Labor Market Effects of Immigration Enforcement," in the highly ranked Journal of Labor Economics.
They study the labor market effects of Secure Communities, a police-based immigration enforcement policy that increased the removals of undocumented immigrants from the U.S. Secure Communities was implemented between 2008-2014 across all counties in the US and led to the removal of over 450,000 individuals, and likely reduced the labor supply among those who were not deported through chilling effects due to fear from interacting with local police. They find that SC reduced the employment share of likely undocumented immigrants by 5.7%. Importantly, we also find that the policy reduced the employment and wages of U.S.-born workers. The decline in the demand for U.S.-born workers is due to an increase in labor costs which decreases job creation and to a decline in local consumption which affects the overall local economy. Based on these findings, they conclude that police-based enforcement policies aimed at reducing the number of undocumented immigrants should consider the potential negative spillover effects on the labor market outcomes of immigrants who remain in the United States and on US-born workers. The fiscal costs of operating SC were roughly $1 billion per year. The negative spillover effects on U.S.-born workers are an additional cost that policymakers should take into consideration.