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Lockout Paperback – August 14, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wucker makes an impassioned case for immigration as an almost unalloyed boon. She pays homage to America as the land of freedom and opportunity—while surveying its many failures to safeguard these blessings for immigrants—but her main argument is economic. Bringing in "the world's best and brightest" is critical to the economy, she contends, providing the high-skilled workers—scientists, engineers, doctors, nurses—and links to foreign markets that America needs to grow and maintain its global competitiveness. Wucker's business-oriented perspective is cogent if one-sided, and sometimes unconvincing; she considers the restrictive immigration regimen from the 1920s through the 1960s a disaster, for example, but after the Great Depression, much of this era was a golden age for the American economy. Wucker (Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola) floats a grab bag of mainly useful reforms, from rationalizing policies implemented to prevent terrorism to opening legitimate channels for immigrants to come here and work legally while cracking down on businesses that employ and exploit the undocumented. But her emphasis on the immigrant as cosmopolitan technology whiz and avatar of global competitiveness doesn't quite address, and may inflame, the gnawing economic insecurities behind American isolationism. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"..a welcome contribution at a critical time" -- New York Post, 7/9/2006

"..persuasively refutes some of the core concerns behind the current backlash against low-skilled and undocumented immigrants" -- Christian Science Monitor, 8/1/2006

"A forcefully argued and informative book...both correct and important" -- Washington Post Book World, 5/28/06

"Wucker adds...historical perspective to the sound and fury of the current debate over immigration." -- Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, senior editor at Foreign Affairs

"Wucker's impressive book could not be more timely." -- Miami Herald, 5/21/06 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (August 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586485237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586485238
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,405,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James A. Gialamas on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Many of the reviews posted here -from professional reviewers as well as

readers- clearly are not based on what actually is in Lockout but instead on pre-existing notions of what the author might have written.

For example, how did the Library Journal reviewer conclude that Lockout does not address homeland security or the impact on U.S. low-wage jobs? There are full chapters devoted to homeland security and to jobs.

Also, just because you don't agree with a book's conclusion doesn't mean that it's biased. In fact, from my reading, Lockout is balanced almost to a fault: delivering both sides of many of the arguments about immigration - the Borjas/Card debate about the impact on low-wage U.S. workers comes to mind.

No doubt, Lockout makes a case in favor or immigration's net effect benefits to the United States, but it doesn't ignore the costs-- and suggests ways to achieve a more moderate and sustainable flow of people across borders.
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Format: Hardcover
Michele Wucker makes an excellent argument for America's maintaining an open-minded and progressive attitude toward immigration. As she points out in her rich description of our history as a land of immigrants, America's success as a nation has been built on the ingenuity of immigrants. The mass immigration between 1870 and 1910, for example, led to a 24% rise in the overall economy. However, Wucker does not propose a free-for-all immigration policy but advocates a moderate approach. She also points out that by failing to appreciate "cultural differences" and "the tremendous asset that our mixed heritage gives us," the U.S. will fail to function at the highest level in the global economy. Her advice: "We need to build on our strengths and come up with targeted solutions to shore up our weaknesses." I highly recommend Wucker's book as a prime source for "getting immigration right."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you only read one book about immigration this year read Lockout. It does have a bias towards allowing immigration but both sides of the argument are explored. She quotes John F. Kennedy saying: "Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible." Lockout is filled with very good historical data about how we got into the immigration mess that we are in today. It is not primarily about the low skilled Mexican illegal immigrants. It is focused much more on the difficulties encountered by skilled, highly educated people who would like to work in the United States. Michelle Wucker makes a very good argument that the labyrinth of immigration law that we have created is hurting our competitiveness in the world.

Her argument that encouraging "Americanization" of immigrants during the first half of the 20th century set the stage for the immigrant battle of this era is interesting and definitely worth considering.

With regard to undocumented immigrants she argues that we must "Accept responsibility for the wink-wink-nod-nod policies that created a large, marginalized population." "The only fair thing to do" she concludes "is to provide a way for them to apply for legal status" with some sort of penalty.

Although I didn't agree with all of Wucker's arguments or policy proposals I felt that she supported them with good data and reason. People on both sides of this debate will disagree with her but they should all read her book.
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Format: Hardcover
Finally an author has put out a book that puts the entire immigration debate into perspective. Instead of pandering to partisans on either the right or left, Wucker's book explains how we got to the strange place we're in today without trying to score any political points in the process. This is the kind of dispassionate analysis that we see all too infrequently in today's journalism. Lockout is worth buying and reading. Somebody should give Lou Dobbs a copy for Christmas!
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Format: Hardcover
You see many books in immigration. I have personally read dozens lately and there are views that go all over the road from extremists who irrationally operate on perpetuating our fears of immigrants, to those who would have you believe that there is no immigration problem and an open border is the solution. Its truly hard to know what to believe. The more you explore this complex issue, the more there is to understand because you realize that the hardliners on immigration are truly coming from a place of ignorance, regardless of their side. The reality is that we need to look at the actual facts of this issue and find a middle ground starting with what is not working now, and start looking at the end solution we want and take steps as a nation to get there. Michelle Wucker has done an excellent job in this straight forward book of giving us that roadmap and not just reacting to the voices in the media with the loudest megaphones, but instead she comes to a thoughtful place of well-researched and carefully contructed views that if heeded by our legislators might help to get us a bit more on track with what is happening regarding immigration in this country. Take a couple hours and read this important book, it will really help you understand this complex issue, and is an important contribution to the debate.
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