Review of Economics and Statistics
Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State's Unauthorized Immigrant Population?
Public Policy Institute of California
Public Policy Institute of California and IZA
Goldman School of Public Policy University of California, Berkeley and IZA
We test for an effect of Arizona's 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on the proportion of the state population characterized as non-citizen Hispanic. We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the population trends of Arizona can be compared. We document a notable and statistically significant reduction in the proportion of the Hispanic noncitizen population in Arizona. The decline observed matches the timing of LAWA's implementation, deviates from the time series for the synthetic control group, and stands out relative to the distribution of placebo estimates for other states in the nation.
A number of years ago I had the opportunity to meet the strong man of the political resistance in Arizona, state senate president Russell Pearce, before he was brought down by establishment GOP maneuvering in a 2011 recall election. At the time, the former sheriff who had been wounded a couple of times in the line of duty, reminded me of another white-haired Arizona politician. He was like John McCain, except on the side of Americans.
Today, though, I'm reminded of another white-haired security warrior turned politician: Ariel Sharon.