Policy Research Working Paper Series The World Bank
This paper studies whether undocumented immigrants change their crime-reportingbehavior after receiving a regular migratory status. It exploits a natural experiment of a massive amnesty programthat gave a regular migratory status to over 281,000 undocumented Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia. The findingssuggest that following the amnesty there is an increase in reporting of crimes by Venezuelan immigrants, not explainedby an increase in crime overall. The results are particularly strong for reports of domestic violence and sexcrimes. Results are almost entirely driven by reports by female Venezuelan immigrants, a vulnerable population,suggesting that empowerment is an important mechanism driving the behavior change.