Sunday, January 5, 2014

Let the People Go or Close the Borders? Two Contrasting Approaches to Immigration Reform


Let the People Go:  The Problem With Strict Migration Limits by Michael Clemens and Justin Sandefur reviews Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World. By Paul Collier (Oxford University Press, 2013).  They write: 

"Paul Collier . . . has just published an extended apologia for . . . tight strictures on immigration . . . , arguing for a global system of coercive quotas on people moving from poorer countries to richer ones. Such quotas, he writes in Exodus, would serve the “enlightened self-interest” of immigrants’ host countries and constitute an act of “compassion” for immigrants and their countries of origin. Collier argues that at a certain point, immigration begins to harm both host and origin countries, that many countries are near or past that point, and that even in countries that have so far remained unharmed, “preventative policies are greatly superior to reactive ones.”

It is refreshing to see the grand case against immigration served up by someone of Collier’s intelligence and credentials. But although Collier styles his book as a balanced review of the research literature, it is in fact a one-sided polemic that stands mostly outside academic research -- by Collier or anyone else." (emphasis added).


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