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Heavens Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy
Heavens Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy by George J. Borjas 0691088969 9780691088969
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Heavens Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy by George J. Borjas

The U.S. took in more than a million immigrants per year in the late 1990s, more than at any other time in history. For humanitarian and many other reasons, this may be good news. But as George Borjas shows inHeavens Door, its decidedly mixed news for the American economy--and positively bad news for the countrys poorest citizens. Widely regarded as the countrys leading immigration economist, Borjas presents the most comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date account yet of the economic impact of recent immigration on America. He reveals that the benefits of immigration have been greatly exaggerated and that, if we allow immigration to continue unabated and unmodified, we are supporting an astonishing transfer of wealth from the poorest people in the country, who are disproportionately minorities, to the richest. In the course of the book, Borjas carefully analyzes immigrants skills, national origins, welfare use, economic mobility, and impact on the labor market, and he makes groundbreaking use of new data to trace current trends in ethnic segregation. He also evaluates the implications of the evidence for the type of immigration policy the that U.S. should pursue. Some of his findings are dramatic: Despite estimates that range into hundreds of billions of dollars, net annual gains from immigration are only about $8 billion. In dragging down wages, immigration currently shifts about $160 billion per year from workers to employers and users of immigrants services. Immigrants today are less skilled than their predecessors, more likely to re-quire public assistance, and far more likely to have children who remain in poor, segregated communities. Borjas considers the moral arguments against restricting immigration and writes eloquently about his own past as an immigrant from Cuba. But he concludes that in the current economic climate--which is less conducive to mass immigration of unskilled labor than past eras--it would be fair and wise to return immigration to the levels of the 1970s (roughly 500,000 per year) and institute policies to favor more skilled immigrants.

Author: George J. Borjas

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 296

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Publication Date: 2001-04-15

Our Price: $4.29

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ISBN: 0691088969


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