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Arresting Immigrants: Unemployment and Immigration Enforcement

Kara Joyner


This study provides an examination of immigrant arrests involving two different agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The Border Patrol (BP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Descriptive time series analyses track yearly changes in immigrant arrests in the decade following the September 11 terrorist attacks (2002-2013). For many DHS jurisdictions, changes in the rates of immigrant arrest closely mirrored changes in the rates of unemployment. First-difference regression models pooling yearly data for the ICE jurisdictions demonstrate that the associations between changes in unemployment rates and changes in immigrant arrest rates were positive and significant.


United States; Immigration Enforcement; Department of Homeland Security; Unemployment; Unauthorized Immigrants

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