Immigration reform, the INS, and the distribution of interior and border enforcement resources

Alberto Dávila, Jose Pagan, Montserrat Viladrich Grau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper investigates the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) interior and border enforcement effort allocation choice following the enactment of IRCA in 1986. The INS increasingly allocated a disproportionate amount of resources along the border as a result of the new law. It is contended that this behavior is consistent with that of a public agency intent on maximizing its budget and not in accord with minimizing the undocumented population in the United States. The theory developed here is then used to evaluate proposals that could potentially reconcile the INS's objectives with those of the policy makers and the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Sociology and Political Science

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