Synopses & Reviews
Immigration divides our globalizing world like no other issue. We are swamped by illegal immigrants and infiltrated by terrorists, our jobs stolen, our welfare system abused, our way of life destroyed--or so we are told. At a time when National Guard units are deployed alongside vigilante Minutemen on the U.S.-Mexico border, where the death toll in the past decade now exceeds 9/11's, Philippe Legrain has written the first book about immigration that looks beyond the headlines. Why are ever-rising numbers of people from poor countries arriving in the United States, Europe, and Australia? Can we keep them out? Should we even be trying?
Combining compelling firsthand reporting from around the world, incisive socioeconomic analysis, and a broad understanding of what's at stake politically and culturally, Immigrants is a passionate but lucid book. In our open world, more people will inevitably move across borders, Legrain says--and we should generally welcome them. They do the jobs we can't or won't do--and their diversity enriches us all. Left and Right, free marketeers and campaigners for global justice, enlightened patriots--all should rally behind the cause of freer migration, because They need Us and We need Them.
Shortlisted for the 2007 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award
"Mr. Legrain performs an invaluable service; he makes a good case for the unpopular cause of free flows of people. The book is a superb combination of direct reportage with detailed analysis of the evidence."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times
"Mr. Legrain has assembled powerful evidence to undermine the economic arguments against immigration."--Economist
"In all important respects Legrain is right on target. In the context of the fearful chatter that surrounds the subject, sense as good as this needs cherishing."--Guardian
"Immigrants boldly challenges the conventional thinking at every turn. [Legrain] makes a powerful case that free movement of people is just as beneficial as the free movement of goods and capital. The book is carefully written; the argumentation is never slapdash stuff of the xenophobes. [A]n extraordinary book, making the best case I have ever read for an open-border policy."--George C. Leef, Regulation Magazine
"We expect crisp writing and careful analysis from Philippe Legrain. In Immigrants
, he adds reporting from across the world and a passionate defense of our freedom to cross borders. By turns logical, daring, and compassionate, this is a terrific book."--Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist
"The single best non-technical defense of a liberal immigration policy. What I liked most was how it put U.S. debates in a broader context; most American sources don't do this.... The book is original in this regard, yet without moving beyond easily understood arguments."--Tyler Cowen, author of Discover Your Inner Economist
About the Author
Philippe Legrain is a British economist, journalist, and writer. Previously trade and economics correspondent for the Economist and special adviser to the director-general of the World Trade Organization, he is the author of Open World: The Truth About Globalization, and has written for the Financial Times, the New Republic, and Foreign Policy, among other publications
Table of Contents
Introduction: MIGRATION ISN'T JUST FOR THE BIRDS 1
It's time for fresh thinking about immigration
Chapter 1: WAR ON OUR BORDERS 23
The hidden costs of immigration controls
Chapter 2: BORDER CROSSING 44
How migrants got to where they are now
Chapter 3: WHY WE NEED THE HUDDLED MASSES 61
The case for low-skilled migration
Chapter 4: THE GLOBAL TALENT CONTEST 89
The pros and cons of high-skilled migration
Chapter 5: COSMOPOLITAN AND RICH 117
The economic benefits of diversity
Chapter 6: STEALING OUR JOBS? 133
Do immigrants displace local workers?
Chapter 7: SNOUTS IN OUR TROUGH? 144
Are immigrants a burden on the welfare state?
Chapter 8: OUR HEROES' 161
How migration helps poor countries
Chapter 9: BRAIN DRAIN OR BRAIN GAIN? 179
The costs and benefits of skilled emigration
Chapter 10: IT NEEDN'T BE FOREVER 198
The case for temporary migration
Chapter 11: ALIEN NATION? 207
Does immigration threaten national identity?
Chapter 12: HUNTINGTON AND HISPANICS 226
Is Latino immigration splitting America in two?
Chapter 13: STRANGER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? 245
Does immigration threaten social solidarity?
Chapter 14: LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER 258
How to integrate immigrants into society
Chapter 15: ILLIBERAL ISLAM? 289
Do Muslim immigrants threaten our security and our way of life?
Chapter 16: OPEN BORDERS 318
Let them in