The Gateway: U.S. Immigration Issues and Policies

The Gateway: U.S. Immigration Issues and Policies

The Gateway: U.S. Immigration Issues and Policies

The Gateway: U.S. Immigration Issues and Policies

Excerpt

This volume contains the proceedings of a conference, "U.S. Immigration Issues and Policies," cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the College of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (UICC). The conference was held April 10-11, 1980, at the UICC campus.

The conference was organized in part because of the importance of immigration and immigration policy to a wide range of U.S. domestic economic and social issues, as well as relations with other countries. Immigrants have an impact on nearly all aspects of domestic life, including wages and employment, population growth, housing prices, and intergroup relations. Immigration policy is also linked to foreign policy, not only with Mexico but also more recently with countries in the Caribbean, Asia, and Eastern Europe and in coming decades with sub-Saharan Africa.

Equally important for organizing the conference, however, was the scarcity of substantive research on which to base public policy. Since the Dillingham Commission report in 1911, there has been little systematic substantive research on immigration issues and policies, although in this seventy-year interval important research studies have periodically appeared. In the past five years, at least four federal policy committees (under various titles--interagency task forces, congressional committees, select commissions) have studied the issue. The research efforts by these committees have been minimal because of the short duration of their mandates and the requirement that a group representing diverse political interests offer specific policy recommendations. A research effort freed from the constraints necessarily imposed on policy- oriented committees could be a fruitful means of stimulating substantive research that would help fill the research void and increase our understanding of the issues and policy trade-offs in immigration.

Those invited to prepare papers, serve as formal discussants, and participate in the conference discussion included researchers well-versed in the intricacies of immigration law, policy, and analysis, as well as experienced researchers in closely related fields who could provide a fresh perspective and alternative research methodologies. To avoid the parochialism of a group of technicians in a single discipline talking their own jargon to each other and losing sight of the broader aspect of . . .

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