State-Level Immigration Policies Grow More Common; Cost-Benefit Tool Offered to Assess Full Impact of State Actions
Mar 8, 2016
This report uses a cost-benefit framework to classify the potential impacts of specific state-level immigration policies, identifying the potential domains of impact and how different stakeholders in the public and private sectors would be affected; assembles empirical evidence of the expected impacts; and assesses the rigor and relevance of existing studies of the fiscal and economic impacts of specific state-level immigration policy actions.
Traditionally, immigration policy has been a federal responsibility but, in the past decade, states have begun to adopt policies through legislation and other actions to respond to trends in unauthorized immigration. Some states have adopted restrictive policies toward unauthorized immigrants, such as expanding state and local enforcement of immigration laws, requiring employers to verify employment eligibility, and precluding access to driver's licenses or in-state tuition for public higher education. Other states have adopted policies that are unrestrictive — for example, making driver's licenses and in-state tuition available regardless of immigration status. The expanding role of states in these areas of policy raises questions about the consequences of state-level action for various stakeholders in the public and private sectors. This report features a cost-benefit framework for classifying the potential impacts of specific state-level immigration-related policies, identifying the potential domains of impact and how different stakeholders in the public and private sectors would be affected. The authors also review research literature to identify empirical evidence, where it exists, regarding the likely magnitudes of the impacts of specific state-level immigration-related policies, and use the cost-benefit framework, together with the assembled empirical evidence, to assess the rigor and relevance of existing studies of the fiscal and economic impacts of specific state-level immigration policy actions. This study should be of interest to policymakers at all levels of government, as well stakeholders in the private sector, focused on state-level immigration policy and the costs and benefits associated with state policy actions pertaining to unauthorized immigrants.
Landscape of State-Level Immigration Policies
Framework for Analyzing State-Level Immigration Policies
Analysis of Existing CBAs of State-Level Immigration Policy
Conclusions and Policy Implications