Migration Policy Institute
Lessons from the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act
Sarah Bohn, PPIC Research Fellow
Magnus Lofstrom, PPIC Research Fellow
Bruce A. Morrison, Former U.S. Congressman from Connecticut (1983-1991) and Chair of the Immigration Subcommittee
Marc Rosenblum, MPI Senior Policy Analyst
In response to growing political pressure and a lack of action at the federal level, states increasingly are taking steps to combat illegal immigration. One of the most comprehensive and restrictive of these efforts is Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), which attempts to reduce unauthorized workers by mandating the use of E-Verify, a national identity and work authorization verification system, and by imposing sanctions on employers who continue to hire unauthorized workers. While these state-level sanctions have drawn significant attention and controversy, there is very little research on their effectiveness or the labor market impact of E-Verify mandates.
Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) research fellows Magnus Lofstrom and Sarah Bohn, and UC Berkeley professor of public policy Steven Raphael are issued a report that examined whether LAWA achieved its primary aims: reducing the unauthorized population, deterring their employment opportunities, and improving employment outcomes of competing authorized workers. Their analysis also investigates whether Arizona’s legislation induced a shift away from formal employment.