Congratulations to Professor Brandyn Churchill! His paper titled, “E-Verify Mandates and Unauthorized Immigrants’ Health Insurance Coverage,” has been accepted at Southern Economic Journal.
Over the last two decades, state and local governments have adopted policies requiring employers to electronically verify (E-Verify) the work eligibility of their new hires to disrupt unauthorized immigrants’ access to the formal labor market. These E-Verify mandates previously enjoyed bipartisan support and are likely to be included in comprehensive immigration reform discussions between the Biden administration and GOP. I show in this paper that state E-Verify mandates are associated with a 5-percentage point reduction in the probability that likely-unauthorized immigrants are employed and a 2-percentage point reduction in the probability that they have employer-sponsored insurance. However, these changes are limited to one period after implementation. In all remaining periods, the relationships are not distinguishable from zero. I show that this pattern can be explained by selective outmigration of otherwise unemployed and uninsured likely-unauthorized immigrants. By preventing unauthorized immigrants from moving to a more favorable policy environment, a nationwide E-Verify mandate would likely further limit unauthorized immigrants’ access to private health insurance.