Immigration in America's Future: Social Science Findings and the Policy Debate

By David M. Heer | Go to book overview

About the Book and Author

Immigration policy is one of the most contentious issues facing the United States today. The bitter national debate over California's Proposition 187, the influx of Cuban refugees into Miami, and the continuous, often illegal, crossings over the Mexican border into Texas and California are just a few of the episodes that have created a furor on local, state, and federal levels.

In this timely and informative book, David Heer invites readers to examine the data and the trends of immigration to the United States and, ultimately, make up their own minds about what our national immigration policy ought to be. He demonstrates how social science findings, together with a conscious recognition of our individual values, are necessary for the formation of a balanced policy for immigration.

Some of the the nation's collective values that may be affected by U.S. immigration policy are the standard of living in this country, the preservation of existing American culture, ethnic and class conflict, and the power of the United States in international affairs. Heer examines the impact of these values on immigration policy and traces the history of U.S. immigration and immigration law and patterns of immigration to the United States. Finally, he offers proposals for change to existing immigration policy.

David M. Heer is professor of sociology and director of the Population Research Laboratory at the University of Southern California.

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Immigration in America's Future: Social Science Findings and the Policy Debate
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Overview 1
  • Notes 5
  • 2 - The Volume and Character of Future Immigration: The Values at Stake 7
  • 3 - The Influence of Social Science Findings 17
  • Notes 25
  • 4 - The History of U.S. Immigration Law 27
  • Notes 71
  • 5 - Patterns of Immigration to and from the United States 77
  • Notes 133
  • 6 - Determinants of Immigration 137
  • Notes 159
  • 7 - Enforcement of Immigration Law 161
  • Notes 179
  • 8 - The Impact of Immigration 183
  • Notes 206
  • 9 - Proposals for Change in U.S. Immigration Law 209
  • Notes 222
  • Bibliography 225
  • About the Book and Author 237
  • Index 238
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