Law & Economics student, Danielle Drago-Drory, has been admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. Her dissertation is titled, “The Legal and Labor Market Impacts of Local Immigration Policies.” Ms. Drory’s committee chair is Professor Joni Hersch. Professors Nancy King, Efrén Pérez, and Ariell Zimran comprise the rest of Drory’s dissertation committee.
Immigration policy is often considered a national issue outside of the control of local entities. However, many states and local governments have enacted laws designed to regulate the daily lives of foreign-born individuals to fill a void in federal immigration law. For example, many states have designated English as the official language of their state and will only conduct official business in English. Chapter I will analyze the impacts of these laws on the limited English proficient workforce and parse the supply and demand side impacts of these laws on limited English proficient workers. Cities and counties have also designated themselves as sanctuary jurisdictions, or jurisdictions that have stated they will not report undocumented individuals to the federal immigration authorities if they are not pursuing a crime. Chapter II will empirically analyze the impacts of these laws on the labor market outcomes of immigrant workers. Chapter III will examine immigration courts—local agents that act as part of a national framework—and will determine how these courts respond to backlog pressures by testing whether mounting backlog has any effect on the duration or outcome of each case. Ultimately, this dissertation will provide empirical evidence of the effects of locally focused policies and actors to inform immigration policy nationwide.