America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success
Immigration is a fraught and misunderstood topic in America's social discourse, with much of what we believe based largely on myth. Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan have spent the last decade searching for the facts. Their pioneering research digs deep into the data on immigration, linking the experiences of immigrants from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to those of immigrants today. Using powerful storytelling alongside big data, they provide new evidence about the past and present of the American Dream that will change our thinking and policies. Where you come from, they vividly illustrate, doesn't matter. The children of immigrants from countries like El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala today are as likely to be as successful as those from Great Britain and Norway 150 years ago. And in a pattern that has held for more than a century, the children of immigrants from nearly every country, especially those of poor immigrants, do better economically than children of US-born residents. Immigration changes the economy in unexpected positive ways, staving off the economic decline that is the consequence of an aging population. Closing the door to immigrants harms the economic prospects of the US-born-the very people politicians are trying to protect.
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