Undocumented immigrants face substantial legal barriers to employment in the United States. Besides work authorization, federal law prevents states from issuing occupational and professional licenses to undocumented immigrants, potentially hampering their occupational mobility. Using a recent policy change that granted undocumented immigrants access to licenses in California, I estimate the effect of these restrictions on immigrant labor market outcomes. First, I find that licensing reform increased access to licenses: after 2016, licensing grew more quickly among workers with Hispanic names than other groups, and self-reported licensing increased 2 percentage points among imputed undocumented workers relative to other groups. Next, I find positive labor market effects on undocumented workers: comparing California to other states, undocumented immigrant wages and employment increase more in more heavily licensed occupations after the reform. These results suggest that licensing restrictions are a meaningful barrier to employment for undocumented immigrants.
Female refugees escaping domestic violence seem largely invisible amongst larger groups of refugees given their unclear legal situation and dichotomously-oriented policy making. In this study, I bring together literature from the sociology of migration and gender to explore how women who experience family abuse decide to flee their countries of origin in times of political conflict and persecution. How does flight from domestic violence interact with refugee migration? What roles do macro, meso, and micro forces play in triggering and perpetuating domestic-violence related migration during times of conflict when refugee flows are ongoing? Through an analysis of twenty biographical interviews with female Chechen refugees in Poland, I argue that political conflict can be both a source of and an escape from domestic violence. I find that an ongoing conflict can strengthen the patriarchal patterns present in a community or lead to a degeneration of those customs. At the same time, for many Chechen women, the refugee flow that grew out of political conflict also facilitated a way out of abusive relationships via the possibility of international escape. This phenomenon was observed at macro, meso and micro levels.
In this paper, Briana Ballis examines the spillover effects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This policy significantly increased the returns to schooling for undocumented youth, leaving the returns for everyone else unchanged. Leveraging administrative data from Los Angeles schools and variation in the concentration in DACA-eligible youth across schools, I also find significant positive effects of DACA on high school completion and student achievement among ineligible peer groups.
The UC Davis School of Law and UC Davis Law Review are hosting a panel and an academic symposium to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the passage of Prop. 187 on November 13-14, 2019. The panel will feature litigators who challenged Prop. 1897 in the courts. The academic symposium will discuss the influence Prop. 187 had on immigration at the state and federal levels, the political environment in California, and Latinx and immigrant communities in four panel discussions.
This paper asks how the evolution of cultural ideas about credibility shapes the form of asylum claims, and in light of this process, how asylum-seekers navigate competing demands to make credible claims of persecution and fear. Using a sample of 150 asylum claims from around the world, lodged over a 30-year period, it shows how asylum-seeking takes place in culturally “unsettled times,” which require claimants to adjust the ways they seek to demonstrate their credibility as they navigate the competing demands of organizational legibility, legal requirements, and cultural perceptions.