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Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them [Hardcover]

by Philippe Legrain
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15, 2007 0691134316 978-0691134314 1st Princeton Ed

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.

Frequently Bought Together

Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them + International Migration, Economic Development & Policy (Trade and Development) + Give Us Your Best and Brightest: The Global Hunt for Talent and Its Impact on the Developing World
Price for all three: $71.18

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Editorial Reviews


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."--

"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."--

"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

From the Inside Flap

"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

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1st Princeton Ed edition (July 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691134316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691134314
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,537,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immigration Opportunities October 15, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Almost everybody can agree that, over the long run, the world is better off because of human migration. Think about North America. And they can also agree that people should be able to leave a place without opportunity like Buffalo, NY and move to a place like San Jose, CA where they can have a better life. But the rational agreement ends when the immigration is happening now and the immigrants are foreign. At an emotional instinctive level people don't want strangers in the neighborhood. This discordance between people's philosophy and their politics is one of the themes of Philippe Legrain's excellent book about Immigration. In Immigrants Your Country Needs Them he looks at immigration trend and issues around the world and systematically refutes the anti-immigrant arguments. He takes apart the standard arguments about cost, jobs, welfare and acculturation rates and shows alternative ways of looking at the same data that support the argument for more immigration.
Legrain also makes very good arguments in favor of immigration. He shows the needs of the developed world for more people, how migration helps the sending countries and the tremendous benefit it gives to migrants. He uses examples from around the world to make these powerful arguments but they are not the best part of the book. Philippe Legrain is also passionate about immigration. In almost every chapter after he makes the rational argument he also makes the emotional arguments. After taking about the border control situation in the EU and the USA he writes, "all our immigration controls have is a veneer of decency, which conveniently allows us to turn a blind eye to their terrible consequences.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Aberrations June 8, 2012
The author is a devil's advocate of a policy of mass immigration into the West.
It let me the impression that he collected his arguments after a cocaine fuelled brainstorming session.

He presents the usual "RATIONAL" arguments in favour of immigration: economic benefits, alleviation of labour shortages, increase in entrepreneurship, alleviation of the pension crisis, etc.

However, his account of the rational benefits is biased because he does not consider the costs too: increased criminality, terrorism threats, a burden on the health service, etc.

Then he augments his "rational" arguments with emotional (IRRATIONAL) ones: increased diversity is good, the mixing of races is good, equity, equality, fraternity, the fight against fascism, peace, etc.

On the other hand, the author dismisses the critics of his pro-immigration views as "racists" because he considers their arguments "irrational". So it seems that according to him some emotional arguments are more proper than others - the "racist" ones.

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