Paternalism - Immigration Edition

A lot of policies involve group A trying to pass laws that they perceive to improve group B's well-being.  But, how often do we ask group B what they really want?

This new paper by Grace Melo, Gregory Colson and Octavio Ramirez shows how such paternalism can might lead to policies that group B doesn't actually prefer.

This study presents evidence from a survey and choice experiment on the preferences of Hispanic immigrants who entered the United States illegally for different immigration reform proposal attributes. Key components of the current competing US Senate and House immigration reform bills are considered including pathways to legal permanent residence, temporary work visas, family visitation rights, and access to medical care. The results quantify the value Hispanic immigrants place on different policy attributes and suggest that longer-term work visas are highly valued. Ability to legally work in the United States and a pathway to citizenship are substantially more valued than social services such as medical care and social security benefits.