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Immigration and the American Dream: Battling the Political Hype and Hysteria Hardcover – May 21, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; First Edition edition (May 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742558746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742558748
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,018,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Peggy Orchowski has written a fine introduction to the immigration debate. This book lays out a roadmap of the facts, the politics, and the buzzwords, helping the concerned citizen move beyond the simplistic cries of 'xenophobia' and 'racism' to a fuller understanding of this vital national issue. (Mark Krikorian, executive director, Center for Immigration Studies)

Margaret Sands Orchowski's Immigration and the American Dream is a readable sociological and political report that provides the information on which sound immigration policy can be crafted. It should be required reading in every office in Congress and every policy think tank in the District of Columbia. (Governor Bill Richardson, New Mexico)

Mentioned in article about immigration policy. (Andy Piper Telegraph Herald, 20 November 2009)

About the Author

Margaret Sands Orchowski is the vice president of programs of the Woman's National Democratic Club and the Washington correspondent and columnist for the Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Gilbert on July 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fast and interesting read: it gives excellent information on the history of immigration law and attitudes toward immigration in the U.S. Building on this base, it presents a context (economic, legal, and philosophical) for current views on legal and illegal imigration. The author concludes with pragmatic recommendations for how to end the current impasse. No hype, no hysteria, just common sense.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donald A. Collins on July 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Somehow, when any major policy issue gets fully launched into the mass media and really has a realistic chance of being decided, legislatively or judicially--such as abortion, gay marriage, or now real immigration reform--the mudslinging and irrational thinking gets into full gear! For some, as recent history shows, go beyond angry words to murder.
The question remains: how should the USA best reform its broken immigration system?
Well, now we citizens are, as Lincoln said, "engaged in a great civil war, testing whether a nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure". The very freedoms which the Emancipation Proclamation proclaimed are again up for dispute.
Thus it is now particularly useful to have a solid recitation of immigration history, which is provided by a new book, written by Peggy Orchowski entitled, "Immigration and the American Dream" (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008) which as she told an audience on June 11th at the office of Progressives for Immigration Reform, "that although America does have a tradition of uniting families through its immigration policy, that tradition only goes back to the immigration reforms of 1965. Before that time, immigration policy was determined by economics. Families had tough decisions to make at Ellis Island when it was determined that one of their own could not enter the country.
This point was not made in an effort to contend that America should return to such a policy. Rather, it helped Orchowski make her main point: that although substantive debate on immigration often gets eaten up by politicians playing politics, it is neither a liberal nor conservative issue. It cleaves where it will, irrespective of our incessant compulsion to split issues cleanly across party lines.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Waslin on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Immigration and the American Dream purports to "bring honest and frank facts and details to the debate on immigration so that a fair solution can be found," and to "enable a more open and honest debate for a fair immigration policy." In reality, Orchowski is simply an apologist for immigration restrictionists, attempting to fortify only one side of the debate while ridiculing the other side. Unfortunately, she does this poorly, and only contributes to the misinformation and inaccuracies inherent in today's immigration discussion. Not surprising since her main source is Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, a leading restrictionist organization.

In some cases the inaccuracies are basic but delegitimize the premise of the book. For example, her definition of asylum as a program limited to a certain number of months is blatantly wrong. Errors like this make it hard to take the rest of the book seriously.

Other passages are so clearly attempts to be inflammatory. During a general description of the family-based immigration system, the author drops in the following: "A little-known fact about new permanent immigrants is that senior citizens and disabled family members who are granted green cards are immediately eligible for Social Security insurance benefits regardless of whether they or any family member ever paid into the system." Not only is it a nonsequitor, but it is simply wrong. Green card holders are ineligible for Social Security for the first 5 years they are in the U.S., after which they may be eligible to receive benefits based on their earnings and what they paid into the system. However, some refugees (people the U.
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