Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

That is the title of this new book by Philippe Legrain, and no I don’t know how you can buy it outside the UK.  Legrain is also the author of the excellent Open World, a defense of economic globalization. 

This work is 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.  For instance how normal or extreme is the American experience
compared to other histories of absorbing immigrants?  The book is original in this regard, yet without moving beyond easily
understood arguments.

I do understand the
concerns raised by Steve Sailer and others against immigrants, and I
readily grant that the idea of open borders is a non-starter.  But is
the United States today in a position where Latino immigrants are
tearing us apart?  I think not.

Yes I know your anecdotes, but here is what it would
take to budge me.  Do a study of real estate prices in San Diego, Santa
Ana (a largely Mexican part of Orange County), and the relevant
sections of Houston, among other locales.  Show me that real estate values in those areas
are falling or even plummeting, and yes I do mean in absolute terms and
no the recent collapse of the real estate bubble doesn’t count.  Then I’ll
give the issue another look.  Otherwise the worst I am going to believe is that "things are not getting better as rapidly as they might otherwise be," and that, whether or not you like such a possible state of affairs, does not represent the sky falling.

But for purposes of balance, here is the most anti-immigration post I have written.  Here is an interesting recent paper on migration.

Addendum: Here is a good article on immigrant entrepreneurs.


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