2019 Graduate Student Showcase

Title of Submission

Undocumented Immigration and Crime: A Re-Examination of the Trump Hypothesis

Degree Program

Economics, MS

Major Advisor Name

Kelly Chen

Type of Submission

Scholarly Poster


On February 15, 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency at the US-Mexico border. This declaration allows the president to divert funds for the construction of a wall along the southern border, to stem the flow of crime. Despite widespread media attention the relationship between undocumented immigration and crime remains understudied. This paper will use a uniquely compiled panel dataset from the years 1995 to 2016 to examine the hypothesis that increases in undocumented immigrant populations will decrease both drug and violent crime rates at the state level. This analysis will be carried out through an Instrumental Variable approach.

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