The Institutional Structure of Immigration Law

Eric A. Posner

Immigration law scholars should give more attention to the institutional structure of immigration law and, in particular, the way that the government addresses problems of asymmetric information in the course of screening potential migrants and attempting to control their behavior once they arrive. Economic models of optimal contracting provide a useful starting point for analyzing this problem. This approach is applied to several current debates in immigration scholarship, including controversies over “crimmigration” and courts’ refusal to extend labor and employment rights to undocumented aliens.