Studies of the Immigration Control Act's Impact on Mexico

NSIAD-88-92BR: Published: Feb 17, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) reviewed information and research studies pertaining to emigration from Mexico to the United States; and (2) summarized information relevant to an assessment of the impact on Mexico of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

GAO found that: (1) it was too early to determine the full impact of the act, since the enforcement of employer sanctions did not begin until June 1987; (2) there was no evidence of mass deportation of undocumented Mexican nationals from the United States; and (3) there was no information on the Mexican returnee population and its impact on Mexico. GAO also found that U.S. and Mexican researchers agree that there will be problems in measuring the U.S. immigration reform's impact because of a lack of: (1) data consistency; (2) systematic data collection; (3) baseline data on the Mexican labor market prior to IRCA; and (4) coordination between data sources and researchers. GAO noted that researchers and policy analysts urge a bilateral approach to resolving immigration issues resulting from IRCA.

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