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Rights, Deportation, and Detention in the Age of Immigration Control$
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Tom K. Wong

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804793063

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804793063.001.0001

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An Effective Deterrent or Smoke and Mirrors?

An Effective Deterrent or Smoke and Mirrors?

Chapter:
(p.144) 5 An Effective Deterrent or Smoke and Mirrors?
Source:
Rights, Deportation, and Detention in the Age of Immigration Control
Author(s):

Tom K. Wong

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804793063.003.0005

Does the increased restrictiveness of immigration control reduce unwanted immigration? Despite its fundamental policy importance, this question remains almost entirely unanswered in the scholarly literature. The main argument of the chapter is that because tighter immigration controls do not fundamentally change the motives of migrants, the increased restrictiveness of immigration control does not necessarily mean less unwanted immigration. Using deportations as an indicator of immigration control, and while accounting for some of the most enduring explanations given for immigration, the analysis provides evidence to support this argument. The data indicate that increased restrictiveness is not significantly related to immigrant inflows and is only weakly related to asylum inflows. These results add to the growing skepticism over whether current modes of immigration control actually deter unwanted immigration.

Keywords:   immigration control, deterrence, attrition through enforcement, international migration, irregular migration, asylum, noncitizens, unauthorized immigrants, undocumented, illegal

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