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The Politics of Immigration

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The Book

U.S. immigration has been the subject of furious debates for decades. On one side, politicians and the media talk about aliens and criminals, with calls to “deport them all.” On the other side, some advocates idealize immigrants and gloss over problems associated with immigration. Dialogue becomes possible when we dig deeper and ask tough questions: Why are people in other countries leaving their homes and coming here? What does it mean to be “illegal”? How do immigration raids, prisons, and border walls impact communities? Who suffers and who profits from our current system—and what would happen if we transformed it?

The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers goes beyond soundbites to tackle these concerns in straightforward language and an accessible question-and-answer format. First published in 2007, this updated and expanded edition is an effective tool to confront current stereotypes and disinformation. Those who believe immigrants take jobs from citizens, don’t pay taxes, strain public services, and threaten the dominant culture will find their assumptions challenged with compelling arguments and hard data. Ideal for classroom use, The Politics of Immigration provides those who are undecided about immigration with the facts and clear reasoning they need to develop an informed opinion.

About the new edition:

The Politics of Immigration brilliantly interrogates this urgent subject that defines our time. In this new edition, Guskin and Wilson ask and answer dozens of crucial questions roiling the nation, ranging from why do people migrate and what are their impacts on U.S. society, to what are the contours of U.S. immigration law and what should a sensible 21st century policy look like. This concise volume—ideal for students and the general public—presents a wealth of data in lively and engaging prose that ultimately explores who is an American and what is America. Read this book now!

—Ron Hayduk, San Francisco State University

Who hasn’t heard [anti-immigration] statements in our workplace, pubs or family meals? You disagree with them, but you might not have the facts or arguments to back up your opinion, so you keep quiet to avoid a shouting match and to keep the peace. That’s where this book comes in handy…. [A] brilliant defence of the freedom of movement, or the right to migrate, but also the right not to migrate.”

—Orlando Hill, Counterfire


[N]ow’s a good time to take a look at how U.S. immigration policies affect the workplace… This book offers illuminating context on immigration issues. It also provides useful talking points, facts and figures for chatting up anti-immigrant co-workers.

—Eve Ottenberg, Labor Notes

About the first edition:

We desperately need to put aside false information about immigrants, to see them as we see ourselves with honesty and compassion. This book gives powerful meaning to the slogan ‘No Human Being is Illegal.’ I hope it will be widely read.

—Howard Zinn, author, A People’s History of the United States

As the immigrant rights movement grows in size and energy, we need quick facts and deep history. This book gives us both.

—Aarti Shahani, co-founder, Families for Freedom

Guskin and Wilson have identified the hot-button points in the national immigration debate, and have set out to undo the stereotypes, misinformation and prejudice that paralyze rational thought on the subject. This book is a great reality check, a good teaching tool, and a powerful weapon against racism.

—David Bacon, author of Communities Without Borders: Images and Voices from the World of Migration

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