Summary of Immigrants

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Immigrants book summary


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Trying to stop illegal immigration is a multibillion-dollar undertaking involving armed patrols, fences, helicopters, video surveillance and gun-toting civilian vigilantes. Journalist and economist Philippe Legrain finds that blockade effort inhumane and economically misguided. In this scrupulously researched treatise, he makes the case that immigrants are seldom job-stealing, wage-suppressing, welfare-scrounging invaders. Instead, studies reveal that less-fettered immigration boosts host nations’ employment and wages. Pointing to such successful immigrants as Google’s Sergey Brin and novelist Junot Díaz, Legrain argues that foreigners’ fresh perspectives stimulate a society’s creativity and innovation. His argument is clear and passionate. Legrain mixes a truckload of statistics with interviews with individual immigrants who relate their harrowing and heartening stories. The drawback is that the book dates from 2006 (it was shortlisted for the 2007 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award), so it doesn’t address crucial current events such as the 2015 refugee crisis. While always politically neutral, getAbstract suggests Legrain’s eye-opening, contrarian view to policy makers, employers, NGOs, students and all citizens.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why economist Philippe Legrain says most fears about immigration are unfounded,
  • What truths contradict many myths about immigration, and
  • How liberalized immigration policies can benefit both rich and developing countries.

About the Author

Senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics European Institute, economist Philippe Legrain writes for the Financial Times, The Guardian and Foreign Policy. From 2011 to 2014 he served as economic adviser and head of a team providing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, with strategic policy advice. He is the founder of OPEN: the Open Political Economy Network, a platform for progress on openness issues.



Doom or Boom?
Conventional wisdom presents immigration as a major threat to rich countries. Books on the subject feature fear-mongering titles like Immigration’s Unarmed Invasion, Unwelcome Strangers and Fighting Immigration Anarchy. According to pundit...

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