Some Good People

Kevin Lewis

March 31, 2023

Persuasion through Slanted Language: Evidence from the Media Coverage of Immigration
Milena Djourelova
American Economic Review, March 2023, Pages 800-835


I study the persuasive effects of slanted language, exploiting a ban on the politically charged term "illegal immigrant" by the Associated Press (AP) news wire. My empirical strategy combines the timing of the ban with variation across media outlets in their baseline reliance on AP copy. I document sizable diffusion of the ban from AP copy to media outlets. Moreover, individuals exposed to the ban through local media show significantly lower support for restrictive immigration policies. This effect is more pronounced for moderates and in locations with fewer immigrants, and does not transfer to views on issues other than immigration.

National Identity and the Integration of Second-Generation Immigrants
Ole Monscheuer
Labour Economics, forthcoming 


How does immigrants’ national identity affect integration in an inter-generational context? The theoretical framework of this paper predicts that a pronounced origin country identity of immigrants may reduce investments in country-specific human capital -- with negative consequences for the school and labor market success of the second generation. The empirical analysis exploits rich survey data from the U.S. and relies on a novel IV strategy inspired by the epidemiological approach, where an aggregate measure of national pride in the country of origin serves as an instrument for immigrants’ origin attachment. Results show that children whose parents are strongly attached to their origin country have less contact to natives and develop a stronger origin country identity, while their host country identity is not found to be affected. Consistent with the theoretical argument, they speak English less frequently and more poorly, and perform worse in school compared to peers whose parents are less attached to their origin country. Additional results from the CPS suggest negative long-term effects on labor market outcomes.

Did DACA Harm US-Born Workers? Temporary Work Visas and Labor Market Competition
Emily Battaglia
Journal of Urban Economics, March 2023 


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals granted more than 900,000 temporary work permits to eligible immigrants. I estimate the impact of the policy on the labor market outcomes of natives and immigrants ineligible to take up the policy using ACS data and a continuous difference-in-differences strategy to compare individuals who are more and less exposed to the eligible population. I find that DACA does not depress labor market outcomes for natives, and possibly increases the fraction working. I also find that the policy likely had no impact on ineligible immigrants.

IMF: International Migration Fund
Merih Angin, Albana Shehaj & Adrian Shin
International Interactions, forthcoming


Existing models of international organizations focus on the strategic and commercial interests of major shareholders to explain why some countries secure better deals from international organizations. Focusing on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we argue that the Fund’s major shareholders pressure the IMF to minimize short-term adjustment costs in the borrowing country when they host a large number of the country’s nationals. Stringent loan packages often exacerbate short-term economic distress in the borrowing country, which in turn causes more people to migrate to countries where their co-ethnics reside. Analyzing all IMF programs from 1978 to 2014, we assess our hypothesis that IMF borrowers with larger diasporas in the major IMF shareholder countries tend to secure better arrangements from the IMF. Our findings show that when migration pressures on the G5 countries increase, borrowing countries receive larger loan disbursements and fewer conditions.

The Wages of Latinidad: How Immigration Enforcement Mitigates Anti-Black Assimilation
Crystal Robertson & Marcel Roman
Political Behavior, forthcoming


Historic accounts posit immigrant ethnic groups adopt the anti-Black attitudes of their Anglo counterparts as they acculturate in the U.S. However, contemporary evidence suggests acculturated immigrant co-ethnics may not be more likely to possess anti-Black appraisals and oppositive attitudes toward Black socio-political interests vis-a-vis their less acculturated counterparts. Drawing from reactive ethnicity and segmented assimilation theory, we posit the threatening contemporary immigration enforcement context may undercut assimilation to Anglo anti-Black attitudes among Latinxs. Using two large nationally representative Latinx surveys, we demonstrate, relative to less acculturated Latinxs, acculturated Latinxs threatened by immigration enforcement adopt attitudes concerning Black people and Black political interests akin to Black people while acculturated unthreatened Latinxs adopt or maintain attitudes closer to their Anglo counterparts. These findings suggest the extent of anti-Black assimilation among contemporary acculturated immigrant co-ethnics is conditional on the receptivity of the host society.

The Within-Individual Effects of U.S. Immigration on Individual-Level Offending During Adolescence and Early Adulthood
Alex Widdowson et al.
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming 

Methods: Using public and restricted data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and U.S. Census data, we employed Bayesian random-effects models to examine the within-individual associations between the percentage of the population that is foreign-born in respondents’ county of residence and two indicators of criminal offending during adolescence and early adulthood.

Results: Findings indicated that percent foreign-born was associated with subsequent reductions in criminal arrest but not self-reported offending. Moreover, we found that these effects were similar regardless of whether respondents moved or remained in place over time. Finally, for self-reported offending, the effects of percent foreign-born were stronger for first-generation immigrants, but for arrest, they were similar across generation.

Immigration and Native Children's Long-Term Outcomes
Yi-Ju Hung
University of Southern California Working Paper, March 2023 


Does exposure to immigrants affect native children’s economic opportunities? Leveraging the linked U.S. censuses in the early 20th century, I study immigration’s cross-generation effect on the native-born. I examine the causal impact of childhood exposure to immigrants on natives’ adulthood occupation ranks using the shift-share instrument for county-level immigration exposure. I show that childhood exposure to immigrants increases natives’ occupation ranks in adulthood, and children of high-skilled fathers enjoy more benefits than their peers. The results suggest that immigration intensifies cross-generation skill persistence. The positive childhood exposure effect is robust after controlling adulthood locations. In addition, immigration-induced relocation explains around 10% of the childhood exposure effect. Finally, childhood exposure to immigrants encourages native children to pursue less immigrant-intensive jobs and seek skill upgrading.

Deportations and departures: Undocumented Mexican immigrants’ return migration during three presidential administrations
Heeju Sohn et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 28 February 2023 


This study examines changes in the sociodemographic patterns of deportation and voluntary return of undocumented immigrants from the United States to Mexico during three US presidential administrations (2001 to 2019) with different immigration policies. Most previous studies examining these migration flows for the United States as a whole have relied exclusively on counts of deportees and returnees, thereby ignoring changes over the past 20 y in the characteristics of the undocumented population itself, i.e., the population at risk of deportation or voluntary return. We estimate Poisson models based on two data sources that permit us to compare changes in the sex, age, education, and marital status distributions of both deportees and voluntary return migrants with the corresponding changes in the undocumented population during the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations: the Migration Survey on the Borders of Mexico-North (Encuesta sobre Migración en las Fronteras de México-Norte) for counts of deportees and voluntary return migrants and the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement for estimated counts of the undocumented population living in the United States. We find that whereas disparities by sociodemographic characteristics in the likelihood of deportation generally increased beginning in Obama’s first term, sociodemographic disparities in the likelihood of voluntary return generally decreased over this period. Despite heightened antiimmigrant rhetoric during the Trump administration, the changes in deportation and voluntary return migration to Mexico among the undocumented during Trump’s term were part of a trend that began early in the Obama administration.

Race, State Surveillance, and Policy Spillover: Do Restrictive Immigration Policies Affect Citizen Earnings?
Irene Browne et al.
Social Forces, forthcoming 


This paper investigates whether restrictive immigration policy affects earnings among White, African-American, and Latinx US citizens. Incorporating sociological theories of race that point to state surveillance of Black and Latinx bodies as a linchpin of racial inequality, we ask: Do immigration policies that expand the reach of law enforcement spill over to lower or to raise earnings of employed US citizens? If so, are the effects of these policies greater for Latinx and African-American citizens compared to their White counterparts? Are the effects of these policies stronger among Latinx and African-American men -- who are more directly targeted by surveillance policing as a function of their gender -- than for co-ethnic women? To investigate these questions, we combine two nationally representative longitudinal datasets -- the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We find that immigration policies that expand the reach of law enforcement raise wages among native-born Whites. However, we also find that state policies enhancing immigration law enforcement decrease wages among Latinx and African-American citizens compared to Whites. We find no gender/race interactions influencing spillover effects of immigration policy on earnings.

Immigration, The Long-Term Care Workforce, and Elder Outcomes in the U.S.
David Grabowski, Jonathan Gruber & Brian McGarry
NBER Working Paper, February 2023 


Although debates over immigration remain contentious, one important sector served heavily by immigrants faces a critical labor shortage: nursing homes. We merge a variety of data sets on immigration and nursing homes and use a shift-share instrumental variables analysis to assess the impact of increased immigration on nursing home staffing and care quality. We show that increased immigration significantly raises the staffing levels of nursing homes in the U.S., particularly in full time positions. We then show that this has an associated very positive effect on patient outcomes, particularly for those who are short stayers at nursing homes, and particularly for immigration of Hispanic staff.

County Immigration Enforcement in the Context of Unsettled Federalism: From Obama to Trump
Gary Reich & Michael Scott
State and Local Government Review, forthcoming 


We examine patterns of county participation in immigration enforcement across the Obama and Trump administrations and responses to the Trump administration’s efforts to mandate local compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directives. We focus on the policy that directly speaks to local discretion in enforcing federal law -- namely, the willingness of local officials to render immigrant detainees to ICE. We find that underlying patterns of detainee transfers from counties to ICE were largely consistent between the Obama and Trump administrations. Nonetheless, the rate of detainee transfers increased during the Trump administration, an outcome associated with county support for Trump in the 2016 election. The findings suggest that partisanship is an entrenched source of diverging county enforcement practices, increasing intergovernmental conflict and undermining the “steam valve” potential of immigration federalism.


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