FIGURE 2-3 Apprehensions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, 1951 to 2003.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2003).

mented immigrants during the 1980s and 1990s actually had the opposite effect.19

Flows of undocumented immigrants peaked in the mid-1980s, declined briefly following the enactment of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), again rose gradually during the 1990s, and then accelerated after the mid-1990s, despite passage of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) (see Figure 2-3). IRCA provided amnesty for undocumented immigrants who met specific residence requirements. It also imposed sanctions on employers who hired undocumented workers and launched what would become a series of initiatives to close the border through various surveillance measures. Ironically, once again, some aspects of the legislation actually encouraged unauthorized migration, particularly from Mexico. For example, provisions that gave growers a 2-day warning prior to labor inspections provided a window for an unabated flow of unauthorized workers that was enabled by the strong social networks among farmworkers.

Additionally, IRCA’s amnesty program practically guaranteed future immigration. After adjusting their legal status, legalized immigrants could

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