Panel Paper: Immigration Enforcement and Student Achievement: The Effects of 287(g) Programs in North Carolina

Thursday, November 8, 2018
Marriott Balcony A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Laura E. Bellows, Duke University

In this paper, I examine the effect of increases in immigration enforcement using individual-level data in North Carolina. As a "new destination" for Hispanic immigrants, North Carolina has been at the forefront of immigration enforcement. In 2006, Mecklenburg County became one the first U.S. counties to establish a 287(g) agreement (a type of partnership between local law enforcement and ICE that provides training to local law enforcement and allows them to act as immigration enforcement agents). Between 2006 and 2009, eight more local law enforcement agencies in North Carolina established 287(g) agreements. Another fifteen counties attempted to establish agreements during this period but were rejected by ICE.

From the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), I use publicly available data on the dates of North Carolina 287(g) programs, as well as more detailed information on historical 287(g) agreements and applications. I match this information with individual-level student data for 2003-2004 through 2012-2013 from the North Carolina Education Research Data Center (NCERDC), housed at Duke University. NCERDC maintains all of the administrative records on North Carolina public school students that are collected by the state Department of Public Instruction and makes them available to researchers. I utilize end-of-grade (EOG) test scores in reading and math from the 2003-2004 through 2012-2013 academic years. I proxy for the likelihood of students having foreign-born parents using information on students' lifetime LEP status, or whether or not a child was ever identified as requiring LEP services.

To estimate the effects of increased immigration enforcement via 287(g) programs on student achievement, I use a triple difference strategy. For the first difference, I compare Hispanic students with likely immigrant parents to non-Hispanic white students with likely U.S.-born parents. For the second difference, I compare these students pre and post the implementation/application for a 287(g) program. For the third difference, I compare between North Carolina counties with a 287(g) agreement and counties that applied but were rejected for a 287(g) agreement.