Nation of Origin Bias and the Enforcement of Immigration Laws by the Immigration and Naturalization Service

  • Jim F. Couch
  • Brett A. King
  • William H. Wells
  • Peter M. Williams
Part of the European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 5)


We examine the enforcement patterns of the INS and find that while the INS vows to enforce the immigration laws in an equitable manner, there is significant variability in the agency’s enforcement patterns. In states where construction jobs represent a large portion of the workforce, INS activity is significantly lower. Furthermore, while the agency is very active in enforcement in states where Russian and Haitian immigrants are prevalent, they appear to relax enforcement in states where Chinese, Jamaicans, and Mexicans reside. The differences in enforcement patterns are statistically significant, and suggest actions taken by the INS may be politically motivated.


Immigration INS law enforcement illegal aliens 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim F. Couch
    • 1
  • Brett A. King
    • 1
  • William H. Wells
    • 2
  • Peter M. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceUniversity of North AlabamaFlorence
  2. 2.Department of Finance and Quantitative AnalysisGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboro

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