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Illegal immigration: policy perspectives and challenges

Casarico, Alessandra; Facchini, Giovanni; Frattini, Tommaso


Alessandra Casarico

Tommaso Frattini


The combination of increasing immigration pressures and restrictive policies imperfectly enforced by many destination countries has made illegal immigration widespread. This paper provides an overview of the mechanisms behind the formation of migration policies and how they lead to or they limit the presence of illegal immigrants. We also study how governments deal ex-post with the presence of undocumented foreign workers by introducing immigration amnesties. We review the determinants of their introduction and address their desirability from the point of view of aggregate welfare. As countries in the EU differ substantially in the implementation of both ex-ante and ex-post immigration policies, we emphasize the need for more coordination in the area of migration policy enforcement, both at the border and within each country.


Casarico, A., Facchini, G., & Frattini, T. (2015). Illegal immigration: policy perspectives and challenges. CESifo Economic Studies, 61(3-4),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 26, 2015
Deposit Date Nov 9, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 9, 2015
Journal CESifo Economic Studies
Print ISSN 1610-241X
Electronic ISSN 1612-7501
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Issue 3-4
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is part of the CEPR project ‘Temporary Migration, Integration and the role of Policies’ (TEMPO) funded by the NORFACE Research Programme: ‘Migration in Europe—Social, Economic, Cultural and Policy Dynamics’.

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in CESifo Economic Studies following peer review. The version of record "Illegal immigration: policy perspectives and challenges", Casarico, A., Facchini, G., Frattini, T., 61(3-4), 673-700 is available online at:


Casarico Facchini Frattini CES-Ifo Econ. Studies 2015.pdf (353 Kb)

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