Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue

Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue

Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue

Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue

Synopsis

Bringing nuance, complexity, and clarity to a subject often seen in black and white, Writing Immigration presents a unique interplay of leading scholars and journalists working on the contentious topic of immigration. In a series of powerful essays, the contributors reflect on how they struggle to write about one of the defining issues of our time--one that is at once local and global, familiar and uncanny, concrete and abstract. Highlighting and framing central questions surrounding immigration, their essays explore topics including illegal immigration, state and federal mechanisms for immigration regulation, enduring myths and fallacies regarding immigration, immigration and the economy, immigration and education, the adaptations of the second generation, and more. Together, these writings give a clear sense of the ways in which scholars and journalists enter, shape, and sometimes transform this essential yet unfinished national conversation.

Excerpt

MARCELO M. SUÁREZ-OROZCO, VIVIAN LOUIE, AND ROBERTO SURO

The world is on the move. As we enter the second decade of the twentyfirst century, the lives of millions of people are shaped by the experience of migration. Arguably, for the first time in human history, all continents are involved in the massive movement of people: as areas of immigration, emigration, or transit—and often as all three at once. Immigration is the human face of globalization—the sounds, colors, and smells of a miniaturized, interconnected, and fragile world. With approximately 214 million transnational immigrants, 15 million refugees, over 740 million internal migrants, and millions more as immediate relatives left behind, immigration defines our era. Leicester, England, will be the first European city with a nonwhite majority. Frankfurt is about 30 percent immigrant today; Rotterdam 45 percent immigrant. By the year 2015, Amsterdam will be 50 percent immigrant. Sweden has more than a million immigrants. But the epicenter of global migration is now Asia. The insertion of China and India into global capitalism has led to the greatest movement of people ever recorded. China has well over two hundred million internal immigrants—rural to urban folk on the move, many as unauthorized migrants in their own country. In India the World Bank estimates that perhaps a third of the entire population, more than 320 million folk, are now rural-tourban migrants.

Immigration’s magnitude—its deep demographic, economic, and social implications—calls for reasoned and disinterested debate grounded . . .

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