• Well Structured


The current debate about immigration policy in the US is heated, but much widespread belief about immigrants is fallacious. Economists Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney help frame the discussion within a more objective context. Their presentation belies many false assumptions. getAbstract considers their report a useful tool for sorting out the complex issues surrounding this contentious public dispute.


“Ten economic facts about immigration” help frame the heated issue within an objective economic context:

  1. Today’s immigrants originate from more varied backgrounds than a hundred years ago. Previously, most immigrants were Europeans and Canadians. Today, 31% of migrants are Mexican, 28% are Asian and 15% are Latin American and Caribbean.
  2. “Immigrants are both better and worse educated than US-born citizens.” They offer a wide range of expertise and education. Although 30% of immigrants have no high school diploma, more than 10% have college degrees, and almost 2% have doctorates.

About the Authors

Michael Greenstone is a professor of environmental economics at MIT. Adam Looney is a senior fellow in economic studies and policy director of the Hamilton Project.

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