Estimates of the Cyclical Inflow of Undocumented Migrants to the United States (Working Paper #181)

Scott Borger, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies

Abstract: This paper constructs estimates for the inflow of undocumented migrants to the United States using survey-based micro estimates of the probability of apprehension per attempt and aggregate apprehensions data reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The robustness of the constructed data is considered by comparing the implied stock from the constructed series with previous estimates of undocumented migrants in the United States. The estimates are within the unenumerated-correction margin of error of the post-2000 Census estimates in the literature. Moreover, the estimated inflow implies a strong correlation with the  business cycle in the United States and Mexico with larger influxes associated with economic conditions in Mexico.

Working Paper #181»