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Project Proposal

The Impact of Deportations under the Secure Communities Program in the U.S.

Sarah Pearlman (Economics)

Project Description

Secure Communities is a federal program which began in 2008 and aimed to expedite the removal of non-citizens with criminal records. The program led to a large increase in deportations, almost all of which were young and middle-age men. These removals likely had a larger impact on immigrant women from similar origin countries, as endogamous, or intra-ethnic marriage is the dominant form of partnership among first, and in some cases, second generation immigrants in the U.S. Using unique data on deportations by country of origin and location in the U.S., we plan to estimate the impact of these deportations on women who stay in the U.S. We also hope to explore the impact of deportations on networks, as there is evidence these may have changed due to rising levels of fear and uncertainty following the policy.

Anticipated Project Activities

The project has a data and writing component. The data component will involve using publicly available datasets to construct different measures of outcomes for immigrant women in the U.S. and linking this to data on deportations under Secure Communities. Through this work the student will become familiar with well-known datasets in the U.S. and learn how to use them for analysis. The student also will learn about the econometric challenges of identifying the impact of policy on specific outcomes.

The writing component will involve a literature review of on the impacts of different immigrant enforcement policies in the U.S. It also will involve writing an explanation of any analysis. This will provide the student with a valuable opportunity to practice describing data and the results of data analysis. The goal is for the student to leave with a written piece of the work that can be used as a writing sample.

Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills

The student needs to know Stata or R.

Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student

The economics department has organized a weekly brownbag over the summer, in which Ford Scholars and faculty present work in progress. We have done this for several years, and its been a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about each other’s projects, share common challenges and successes, and generally see how projects evolve. It also is a good way for students to practice presenting in front of an audience."

Project Location

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY—I will be on campus, but can work with a student who is in-person or remote.

Project Duration

Eight weeks

Project Start Date

June 7, 2021

Project End Date

July 30, 2021