When the Border Is “Everywhere”: State-level Variation in Migration Control and Changing Settlement Patterns of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population in the United States



Governments increasingly exclude unauthorized migrants from labor markets and public provisions and apprehend those who have settled in the territory. In the U.S., recent increases in interior control coincided with a reduction in (the growth of) the estimated unauthorized population. This study describes the mechanisms through which interior control may impact migration patterns and analyzes whether interior control has been responsible for the changing settlement patterns. We find that when the effects of labor markets and internal dynamics of migration processes are controlled, policy has a (moderate) negative effect on estimated levels of unauthorized residence, both in individual states and the U.S. as a whole.