Visa Policies and Porous Borders: Quasi-experimental Evidence on their Short and Long-term Effects from Peru

21.05.2024 - 12:00 bis 13:30
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Omar Hammoud-Gallego
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
LSE School of Public Policy

How effective are restrictive immigration policies to stem immigration flows and what are their unintended consequences? Evidence from Europe and North America suggests that limiting legal access options leads to increased migrants smuggling and long-term irregular settlement. Countries in the Global South, which host most forced migrants, have far less capacity to effectively control their borders. In such contexts, blocking legal access likely leads to a fairly direct substitution of regular by irregular migration with subsequent negative consequences for migrant integration. Based on a quasi-experimental design, we contribute to this crucially understudied topic by examining the effects of the introduction of access visas to Venezuelans in Peru. Our findings reveal that the introduction of restrictions was ineffective in deterring migrants and refugees, making them cross the border irregularly. Using a difference-in-difference design we further demonstrate how such restrictions negatively affect migrants’ economic, political, psychological and social integration. Importantly, these negative integration outcomes largely persisted even after a subsequent regularization program was adopted. Our study contributes to broader debates about immigration policies and the importance of legal status for migrant integration.