Implications of immigration policies for the U.S. farm sector and workforce

Stephen Devadoss, Jeff Luckstead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We develop a theoretical model using migration and trade theory to examine the effects of domestic and border enforcement policies on unauthorized workers and the U.S. agricultural sector. The theoretical results show that heightened immigration policies increase the illegal farm wage rate, and reduce the employment of unauthorized farm workers and exports. The empirical analysis show that increased domestic enforcements curtail the number of undocumented farm workers by an average of 8,947 and commodity exports to Mexico by an average of $180 million. The tighter border control curbs illegal farm workers by 8,147 and reduces farm exports by $181 million.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-875
Number of pages19
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


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