Who Slips Through? Unauthorized Immigration into the United States

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University
Susan Pozo, Western Michigan University

While a variety of policies have been implemented to reduce unauthorized immigration, the consensus is that these policies have not succeeded in diminishing illegal crossings into the United States. We use the Encuesta sobre Migración en la Frontera Norte de México – with approximately 65,000 unauthorized Mexican immigrants – to help us understand the persistence of unauthorized immigration. Roughly 14,000 of these unauthorized immigrants were never apprehended, whereas the remaining 51,000 were. We address the following questions: Which unauthorized immigrants are successful at eluding deportation? Does the use of coyotes or the price paid for their services raise the likelihood of a successful crossing? What is the apprehension probability after successfully crossing into the United States? If detained, where is seizure more likely to take place? To what degree do migrant networks reduce the risks of deportation? Finally, how has the implementation of immigration policies changed the profile of “successful” unauthorized immigrants?

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 169: Migrant Networks: Operation and Effects