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Does E-Verify Discriminate against Hispanic Citizens?

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, Xing Jin and Susan Pozo

Economics Working Papers from School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah

Abstract: The ratcheting up of immigration enforcement has resulted in a number of unintended consequences featured in the news, such as family separations. We focus on, yet, another potentially unintended consequence –namely the possibility of employment discrimination against Hispanics legally authorized to work following the implementation of employment verification (E-Verify) mandates. Using data from the 2002-2012 National Latino Surveys, we exploit the temporal and spatial variation in the adoption of E-Verify mandates to assess how they have impacted perceptions of discrimination held by U.S.-born and naturalized Hispanics –all clearly authorized to work. While E-Verify mandates should not adversely impact their employment and other opportunities, these individuals could be hurt if some employers avoid hiring them for fear they may be undocumented. We find that E-Verify mandates raise perceptions of discrimination at work among all four groups of Hispanic citizens we distinguish in this research. Our findings point to the complex dynamics surrounding immigration policy.

Pages: 39 pages
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