In 1986, Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which for the first time makes it illegal for employers to hire undocumented immigrants. This provision is counterbalanced by a legislative ban on discrimination in employment on the basis of national origin or, under certain circumstances, citizenship status. This report identifies four major challenges to the law's implementers, most notably the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS): (1) establishing the legitimacy of sanctions as a new set of employment regulations; (2) satisfying the exacting legal requirements that attach to business regulation (and generally do not apply to relations with immigrants); (3) adapting the INS, which was designed for one purpose--to deal with immigrants--to the very different purposes of educating, regulating, inspecting, and sanctioning employers; and (4) regulating a vast economic process with limited investigative enforcement resources. The authors conclude that the implementers have essentially met the challenges of IRCA's first three years.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Joint report immigration series. The joint report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1988 to 1993 that included documents published jointly with other organizations, which transmitted major research findings and final research.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.