Foundations of U.S. Immigration Control Policy: A Study of Information Transmission to Mexican Migrants and the Role of Information as a Deterrent at the Border (Working Paper #95)


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Adam Sherry, University of California – San Diego

Abstract: Current theoretical models do much to explore the economic motivation for the migration, the social networks through which information could pass, as well as the factors within sending communities that may serve to promote migration. These models rest largely on the assumption that migrants are rational actors who use the information available to them to make a decision to pursue marginal increases in well-being. But the scholars using such models usually fail to assess the quality of the information entering into decisions to migrate. This thesis investigates migrants’ information about the costs, risks, and benefits of unauthorized migration to the United States, as a way of explaining the limited effectiveness of U.S. immigration control policies.

Working Paper #95»