Undocumented migrants frequently hire border crossing experts, called “coyotes” to facilitate a successful, safer crossing. U.S. border enforcement actively counters these migrants. U.S. measures of enforcement and coyote fees grew together during the 20th century, suggesting a connection between enforcement and the coyote market. This paper tests the effect of border patrol agents and operations on coyote fees using a dataset compiled from the Mexican Migration Project, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Sentencing Commission. I do not find a significant connection between coyote fees and border enforcement, but do show that average prison time along the border acted as a shifter of supply prior to 2005.
Coombs, Kyle, "Do U.S. Border Enforcement Operations Increase Human Smuggling Fees Along the U.S.-Mexico Border?" (2014). Economics Honors Projects. Paper 57.
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