- Paperback: 330 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (April 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521698669
- ISBN-13: 978-0521698665
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"Carol Swain has drawn together a brilliant and insightful collection of essays on immigration. No matter what your views on immigration, you will find something to inform, educate, or engage."
Senator Bill Frist from Tennessee
"Just when I thought America could NEVER have a civilized discussion about immigration, alongcame this wonderful book. Thomas Jefferson would be so proud that many knowledgeable people spent time together wrestling with this highly charged political issue and sharing their thoughts inwriting. I wish I could mandate that NO ONE could debate about immigration until they read this book and passed the test!"
Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman from Colorado
"This is a fascinating and distinctive contribution to our understanding of contemporary immigration issues. Most volumes on this subject are weighted heavily in the pro-immigration direction. Carol Swain, by contrast, has gotten contributions from scholars with a wide range of perspectives, and their work reveals many complexities and nuances that are too often ignored. A first-rate collection that should appeal to general readers as well as to scholars."
Stephan Thernstrom, Winthrop Professor of History, Harvard University and editor of the Harvard Encylopedia of American Ethnic Groups
"This timely volume, representing a range of ideological perspectives, features a number of powerful and thought provoking essays on the immigration debate. Carol M. Swain has pulled together a group of outstanding scholars and activists whose gripping arguments on immigration will be widely discussed and debated. I highly recommend this volume to anyone concerned about the politics of contemporary immigration."
William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor Harvard University
"..touches upon important and pressing immigration policy issues. The book is an outstanding compilation."
John C. Blakeman, Law and Politics Book Review
"Debating Immigration is a collection of essays using different perspectives to argue that immigration is harmful for the United States." -Maria Chavez, Journal of American Ethnic History
Debating Immigration presents 18 original essays, written by some of the world's leading experts and preeminent scholars, that explore the nuances of contemporary immigration and citizenship affecting the United States and Europe. The volume is organized around the following themes: religion and philosophy, law and policy, economics and demographics, race and ethnicity, and cosmopolitanism.
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"In a polity in which only 17 percent of the public thinks that immigration levels should be higher and 39 percent thinks they should be lower, one would expect that at least some legal scholars who write about immigration issues would favor restriction. If so, one would be wrong. In over two decades of immersion in immigration scholarship, I have not encountered a single academic specialist on immigration law who favors reducing the number of legal immigrants admitted each year." The Disconnect Between Public Attitudes and Policy Outcomes in Immigration [In Debating Immigration, Chapter 2, p.17, the link is to an unedited version.]
So, Carol M. Swain, a law and political science professor at Vanderbilt, has done the academic world a service (although one it probably won't appreciate) with her new book Debating Immigration. She brings together 16 chapters from academic and think tank luminaries such as Nathan Glazer, Amitai Etzioni, Douglas S. Massey, and Steven A. Camarota, along with lively essays from journalists Peter Brimelow and Jonathan Tilove.
Swain is one of the more unusual and admirable scholars in public policy. Growing up black and poor in rural Virginia, one of twelve children, she dropped out of 9th grade and married at 16. In her mid-20s she started back to school. Eventually, she earned tenure at Princeton as an expert on how Congress operates.
Her views are difficult to categorize politically. I would say she's an advocate of black enlightened self-interest, left of center on economics, right of center on culture. For example, her 2002 book The New White Nationalism sensibly advocated depriving white nationalists such as Jared Taylor of their best issues by restricting immigration and cutting back on affirmative action, especially for immigrants and affluent blacks. Needless to say, that hasn't happened.
That whites and blacks have a common interest on immigration is obvious from a logical standpoint. But there's not much of a market for logic. Many black leaders, such as the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton and Minister Farrakhan, have no interest in striking a deal with whites on immigration because they are not in the business of enlightened self-interest for blacks. They are, instead, entertainers, riffing endlessly and lucratively on that old crowd-pleasing tune Sticking It to the White Man. If the average white person doesn't want more immigrants, well, then, these black leaders will help bring in more just to spite whitey.
Swain's own chapter in Debating Immigration points out the uselessness of the Congressional Black Caucus on immigration bills.
She notes that one reason for this is that quite a few black Representatives come from districts that are increasingly Hispanic.
I'd add that the weird math of the "rotten borough" syndrome is encouraging black politicians to favor the immigration that will eventually destroy them.
It works like this: Noncitizens aren't allowed to vote, but in most states they are counted in the redistricting following each Census. As Latino illegal immigrants move into black neighborhoods, the number of black-dominated districts can actually increase in the next redistricting because there will be fewer voters per district in poor areas. For instance, about twice as many votes are cast in each election in the posh Beverly Hills district of Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman as in the heavily illegal alien-populated South Central LA district still represented by black radical warhorse Maxine Waters.
Debating Immigration lives up to its title, with representatives from all sides, including some perspectives I haven't seen before. For example, Swain, who became an evangelical Christian at the beginning of this decade, has included an incisive analysis from a scriptural standpoint.
Jonathan Tilove of Newhouse News, the finest mainstream media reporter on race and immigration, writes:
"In the course of my years [since 1991] reporting about race and immigration, I have come to believe that indifference to the fate of black America, or in some quarters a passive-aggressive hostility toward African Americans, has become an animating feature of support for a liberal immigration policy and helps to explain the strange bedfellows who have made that policy unstoppable even in the face of lukewarm public support at best."
"Passive-aggressive" is right. As I've argued, immigrants are "economically cleansing" native-born blacks from the home bases of the media elite--New York City and Washington D.C. This reduces crime locally, especially in this generation before the newcomers have sons who grow up to join street gangs. Many in the national press seem to assume that the African Americans who are driven out of their cities by immigrants pushing rents up and wages down are being deported. Of course, they are just being pushed out to less fashionable cities such as Newark, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. And there the murder rates have gone up considerably since 2002 and are now four to six times as bad as New York City's.
Peter Brimelow points out in his chapter that immigration's benefit to "the economy" is surprisingly small. A larger population means the overall Gross Domestic Product is larger, but virtually all of that goes to the immigrants themselves. The net benefit to native-born Americans is nugatory--and is in fact wiped out by government-mandated transfer payments, such as education and welfare, from American taxpayers to immigrants.
As Peter notes, the main effect of immigration is to shift wealth from labor to capital. Despite all the chatter in the press about immigrant entrepreneurialism, unskilled illegal immigration is unthreatening to employers precisely because poorly educated Latinos are unlikely to ever provide effective competition against their bosses. Corporations thus get both cheap workers and additional consumers, but not future rivals. From a profit maximization angle, what's not to like?
Swain has delivered a fine and fair anthology on a topic almost criminally neglected by academia. This is no doubt why it has received no reviews that I can see.
Diane C. Donovan
So we compound the issues by pealing away money to teach the newly arrived how to speak English, and allow the newly arrived to partake in every social program available. This all costs money. More taxbreaks. Not to mention illegal immigration, Emergency room costs, education costs, law enforcement, etc., etc.
When people legally immigrate to America, why should I and my fellow Americans foot the bill. Why cannot the immigrant pay his or her own way? Why have we allowed our social programs, healthcare, etc., to be shared with the newly arrived immigrants, in such huge numbers? Why, well because those running these programs lack any commonsense in terms of numbers. America is always talking about the needs it cannot afford for the citizens already here. So why take on an even larger burden? Such as printing voting ballots in other languages, for example, because the mewly arrived have not, or will not take the time to learn English. This costs money, tax payer money, yours and mine. Why illegal immigration alone costs this nation 6 billion dollars a year, then throw in another 4.9 billion for legal immigration and you see where this is all headed.
This book deals with the pros and cons of this and more. At the same time too many Americans are not informed as to how this system breaks down. Such as those seeking asylum for political oppression, religious oppression, and even sexual oppression. There happens to be, at this time a giant backlog which will take years to dissolve. More money.
Say you want to move to America, and you want to bring with you family members. Well they get a green light, as well. If these family members happen to be elderly, these people automatically get into SSI (Social Security Supplimental Sceurity Income). Not to mention medicare etc. As you know the Social Security program is on it's last leg. So why not let the world in on the program? You know what we have. Once again your money. No one appears to be listening to the other side. We have groups of lawyers who work on behalf of immigration, but no one looks out for the tax payer, because our elected officials are missing in action. No one is looking out for commonsense, or rational thought.
This and more is one more reason for the people of this country as a whole to give immigration promentant attention. Not only because we do not know who is immigrating to our "HOME." We need to gather as much information on the workings of the immigration program, take a walk to Capitol Hill, seek out and grab our elected officials by the ear and have a true conversation over this very pressing issue. Read as much as you can, and speak up aganist the "AMNESTY" our lawmakers are trying to shove down our throats. Maybe, just maybe give them a good book to read on the subject. Well that would not work, because few if any of our lawmakers ever read any bill before making said law, the law of the land. Lawmakers, you think?