"Neither the threat of arrest nor punishment may significantly deter Mexicans from trying to enter the United States illegally, according to a new USC Gould School of Law study that was published in the August issue of the American Sociological Review.
The study examined a variety of economic and noneconomic factors that may influence decisions to migrate illegally from Mexico to the United States. It found that people’s perceptions of the certainty of arrest and the severity of punishment are not significant determinants of their intentions to migrate illegally, once other relevant factors are taken into account.
“This suggests that perhaps there is very little that immigration enforcement alone might be able to do to affect changes in people’s intentions to migrate illegally,” said study author Emily Ryo, USC Gould professor and a research fellow at Stanford Law School’s Program in Law and Society." - USC News, Aug. 1, 2013.