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Heaven's Door Hardcover – August 9, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Many political activists will quickly label Heaven's Door, by Harvard economist George Borjas, a vicious attack on America's generous immigration policy. They will have a point: Borjas believes the current level and composition of immigration to the United States does not advance--and arguably harms--American economic and national interests. But they will also miss a very careful argument that neatly places Borjas between the extremes of open-borders advocates and full-scale restrictionists. Borjas, himself an immigrant from Cuba, would cut admissions by about one-third and radically redesign the way in which people gain entry, changing the present system from emphasizing family ties to favoring skills. He bases this reasoning on a series of observations, which he examines in great detail: immigrant earnings lag behind native earnings, there is a clear (and troubling) link between national origin and economic performance, immigration hurts the economic opportunities of poor Americans, and so on. Some readers will think Borjas accentuates the negative; in describing how immigrant skill levels have declined relative to natives, for instance, he downplays the fact that they have risen in an absolute sense. Yet this is an uncommonly clear-headed book on a subject that rouses fiery passions. A country that still considers itself a "nation of immigrants"--and wants to remain one--can't afford to ignore it. --John J. Miller

From Library Journal

Borjas is the leading American economist conducting research and writing about immigration policy today. A Cuban refugee who greatly benefited from the political privileges and economic opportunities associated with living in the United States, he provides a comprehensive account of the economic impact of immigration on this country. In framing his argument that U.S. immigration policy needs to be changed, he considers the skills of the immigrants, their national origin, the impact on the labor market, the costs and benefits associated with immigration, welfare use, economic mobility, ethnic segregation, and the need for cultural and economic assimilation. He highlights his discussion by pointing out that the key issues to be addressed are how many immigrants should be admitted to the United States each year and what skills they should have. A marvelous read that should be useful in both academic and public libraries.ANorman B. Hutcherson, Kern Cty. Lib., Bakersfield, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691059667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691059662
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 54 people found the following review helpful By tekiyah@hotmail.com on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A very sound piece of economic work. Regardless of what you feel about Borjas's conclusions, you must acknowledge the value of his economic analysis. To truly have an understanding of the immigration debate, you must have read Borjas's work. His contributions to the field are immeasurable. While I do not always agree with him on the place of "ethnicity" in the realm of immigration policy making, I am more educated for even considering his proposal. In sum, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in immigration issues--especially those interested in its economic impact.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AZ on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
this is an interesting look at immigration and immigration policy in the United States. rather than accuse or scare people with facts that aren't always true, Borjas chooses to present straight facts that relate to employment, educational, and economic data. it makes you look at what is going on in our country from a different perspective. the chapters do tend to get redundant after a while though.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Contemporary book. Talks about the pro's and con's of immigration. Its all factual and no opinions
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Clary on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has the pros and cons of immigration. In addition to a background history of the issue. I used as a reference.
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