- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Gotham (May 15, 2008)
- ISBN-10: 1592403492
- ASIN: B001IDZJQ8
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,919,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 15, 2008
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The immigration debate seems to have been taken over by shrill anti-immigrant voices. Ace editorialist Jason Riley restores some balance with this calm, reasoned, highly compelling presentation of the case for immigration. His fact- laden polemic should make even the most die-hard xenophobe think twice. He shows why immigrants are a net plus, and why illegal immigration isnt the crisis it has been made out to be.
Max Boot, senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, author of War Made New and Savage Wars of Peace
Jason Riley puts today's fierce immigration debate into perspective, and he does so with crisp writing and thoughtful analysis. Let Them In is a welcome contribution to a national discussion that is too often dominated by fear-mongering and misinformation. Free-market adherents ought to embrace open- immigration policies, and this tightly drawn book explains why.
Arthur Laffer, Chairman of Laffer Associates
Jason Riley makes a very comprehensive argument for an Open Borders policy. People on all sides of this would do well to understand where he is coming from.
Lawrence Lindsey, former chief economic adviser to President George W. Bush
About the Author
Jason L. Riley is a member of the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal, where he has worked since 1994. He appears regularly on The Journal Editorial Report on Fox News. Hes also appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Hannity & Colmes, and ABCs World News Tonight.
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That said, Riley spends a lot of time taking pundits to task for promoting arguments to stop immigration that have no basis in historical fact, which is appropriate. Unfortunately, he proceeds to make multiple statements - for example, linking Charles Darwin to the Eugenics movement, and claiming that charter schools will fix education problems, without providing any historical basis for them (in the case of the former, there is none - Riley gamely tries to re-interpret the title of Darwin's book as such, which is silly). This makes the reader question the strength of the rest of his statements. Even worse, these statements are asides, which really have very little to do with the central argument, so they weaken the author's position without really adding to his argument. Riley also wears his political affiliation on his sleeve, which is, of course, his right, but again adds a certain amount of writing that doesn't really bear on immigration.
My advice to Mr. Riley for the 2nd edition, then, would be to remove everything that does not bear directly on his thesis. I think his arguments about immigration are generally spot-on, but there is a certain amount of irrelevant content in there, without which the book would be better. I would probably give 3-and-a-half if I could.
This book began the journey of my conversion, and after much consideration, I now realize that market-based solutions to immigration are best. Furthermore, it is clear to me that there is no economic or cultural "cost" greater than the benefits we receive (and have received for generations) from immigrants. Make legal immigration easy and accessible; the sky will not fall! The policy advocated in this book makes absolute sense when confronted with the Dobbs/Borjas/Rector/O'Reilly model.
Overall, the book was lacking in demagoguery but not in sound data and logic. It was easy enough to comprehend as well. It opened my eyes and was extremely thought-provoking. Buy this book if you will appreciate the side of the immigration debate less told. Abandon the shoddy anecdotal evidence for restrictionism and give this book a fair shake with an open mind.
In general the book is well done. Probably the most irrefutable
statement (repeated several times) is that immigration is a
wedge issue that speaks to many personal fears and a commonly held
stereotype about immigrants esp Hispanics from Central America.
The observation that this "issue" arises before elections to stampede
voters and then disappears immediately after the election is tough
As an overview Riley looks at the six common areas where objections
to immigration arise:
1) population/over-population - does a good job of setting out some
little known connections and facts about this area of debate. Riley
should address "carrying capacity" and does not. Other than footnoting
this chapter extensively Riley meets the objections well.
2) economics - sets forth how much immigrants draw from the US economy
and what they add. Well done. Tackles the 'stealing US jobs' argument.
3) the welfare system - addreses the way barriers to entry into the US
and the factors that cause people to become interested in leaving another
country "select" people that are pre-disposed to seek work aggressively.
4) assimilation - numerous good points including language assimilation
and some contrasts with other countries
5) politics - should be read by all conservative politicos. Enough said.
6) national security - addresses the terrorist objection extremely well.
Worth a read by someone who wants to think about the various aspects to
this issue. There is some discussion of some aspects of a more open
immigration policy as it relates to human capital being in our NATIONAL
INTEREST that are worth some time for intellectually honest readers.