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"A clarion call to everyone who cares about the American nation and every person who calls it home." --J.D. VANCE, author of Hillbilly Elegy Why would a son of immigrants call for tighter restrictions on immigration? For too long, liberals have suggested that only cruel, racist, or nativist bigots would want to restrict immigration. Anyone motivated by compassion and egalitar "A clarion call to everyone who cares about the American nation and every person who calls it home." --J.D. VANCE, author of Hillbilly Elegy Why would a son of immigrants call for tighter restrictions on immigration? For too long, liberals have suggested that only cruel, racist, or nativist bigots would want to restrict immigration. Anyone motivated by compassion and egalitarianism would choose open, or nearly-open, borders--or so the argument goes. Now, Reihan Salam, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, turns this argument on its head. In this deeply researched but also deeply personal book, Salam shows why uncontrolled immigration is bad for everyone, including people like his family. Our current system has intensified the isolation of our native poor, and risks ghettoizing the children of poor immigrants. It ignores the challenges posed by the declining demand for less-skilled labor, even as it exacerbates ethnic inequality and deepens our political divides. If we continue on our current course, in which immigration policy serves wealthy insiders who profit from cheap labor, and cosmopolitan extremists attack the legitimacy of borders, the rise of a new ethnic underclass is inevitable. Even more so than now, class politics will be ethnic politics, and national unity will be impossible. Salam offers a solution, if we have the courage to break with the past and craft an immigration policy that serves our long-term national interests. Rejecting both militant multiculturalism and white identity politics, he argues that limiting total immigration and favoring skilled immigrants will combat rising inequality, balance diversity with assimilation, and foster a new nationalism that puts the interests of all Americans--native-born and foreign-born--first.


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"A clarion call to everyone who cares about the American nation and every person who calls it home." --J.D. VANCE, author of Hillbilly Elegy Why would a son of immigrants call for tighter restrictions on immigration? For too long, liberals have suggested that only cruel, racist, or nativist bigots would want to restrict immigration. Anyone motivated by compassion and egalitar "A clarion call to everyone who cares about the American nation and every person who calls it home." --J.D. VANCE, author of Hillbilly Elegy Why would a son of immigrants call for tighter restrictions on immigration? For too long, liberals have suggested that only cruel, racist, or nativist bigots would want to restrict immigration. Anyone motivated by compassion and egalitarianism would choose open, or nearly-open, borders--or so the argument goes. Now, Reihan Salam, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, turns this argument on its head. In this deeply researched but also deeply personal book, Salam shows why uncontrolled immigration is bad for everyone, including people like his family. Our current system has intensified the isolation of our native poor, and risks ghettoizing the children of poor immigrants. It ignores the challenges posed by the declining demand for less-skilled labor, even as it exacerbates ethnic inequality and deepens our political divides. If we continue on our current course, in which immigration policy serves wealthy insiders who profit from cheap labor, and cosmopolitan extremists attack the legitimacy of borders, the rise of a new ethnic underclass is inevitable. Even more so than now, class politics will be ethnic politics, and national unity will be impossible. Salam offers a solution, if we have the courage to break with the past and craft an immigration policy that serves our long-term national interests. Rejecting both militant multiculturalism and white identity politics, he argues that limiting total immigration and favoring skilled immigrants will combat rising inequality, balance diversity with assimilation, and foster a new nationalism that puts the interests of all Americans--native-born and foreign-born--first.

30 review for Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Some relatively well supported arguments for reforming immigration policy — specifically, amnesty combined with effective future enforcement, a points based system instead of primarily family unification, and some other reasonable modifications. Unfortunately none of this is at all likely to happen, and thus the negative consequences he identifies (that a long term underclass of relatively-excluded immigrants and their descendants will seize power and be resisted to the detriment of all) is more Some relatively well supported arguments for reforming immigration policy — specifically, amnesty combined with effective future enforcement, a points based system instead of primarily family unification, and some other reasonable modifications. Unfortunately none of this is at all likely to happen, and thus the negative consequences he identifies (that a long term underclass of relatively-excluded immigrants and their descendants will seize power and be resisted to the detriment of all) is more likely to come to pass.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex O'Connor

    An excellent and compassionate view at a hybrid immigration policy that would please both ends of our divided political landscape.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    Very interesting, nuanced discussion with the author about the complex and difficult topic of immigration, assimilation, ethnic identity, individual immigrant experience in the US context: https://youtu.be/mM2xyQ8ejIw Very interesting, nuanced discussion with the author about the complex and difficult topic of immigration, assimilation, ethnic identity, individual immigrant experience in the US context: https://youtu.be/mM2xyQ8ejIw

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    He makes a lot of good points here, but it seems like he keeps tearing down straw man arguments. I've never heard "the left" propose complete open borders. The only group pushing that are liberal libertarians. Also, the two choices don't seem to be only melting pot or civil war? Seems like there are some in-between scenarios? His argument rests on the fact that poor kids grow up to be poor adults. This is a problem to be sure, but seems like maybe we can fix that problem instead of just saying n He makes a lot of good points here, but it seems like he keeps tearing down straw man arguments. I've never heard "the left" propose complete open borders. The only group pushing that are liberal libertarians. Also, the two choices don't seem to be only melting pot or civil war? Seems like there are some in-between scenarios? His argument rests on the fact that poor kids grow up to be poor adults. This is a problem to be sure, but seems like maybe we can fix that problem instead of just saying no more poor people? Still, I do like the idea of preventing immigration by helping people stay in their home country. I think most people prefer that--but they need to be safe. I think instead of sending troops to the border to fight the caravan, we could send the troops to fight the gangs in El Salvador and other central American countries that are raping and killing people. Put out the fires they are running from and they won't have to run.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hina

    Full disclosure - I went into this expecting it to be some conservative, right-wing defence of strict immigration reform and US protectionism. What I came to find, instead, was an extremely passionate and centrist (as centrist as can be) look at immigration in America today, who it benefits, who is left out, and most importantly, how we can modify it to better serve Americans of today and the future. There is a lot of information in this book that we don't get from the mainstream media, who pres Full disclosure - I went into this expecting it to be some conservative, right-wing defence of strict immigration reform and US protectionism. What I came to find, instead, was an extremely passionate and centrist (as centrist as can be) look at immigration in America today, who it benefits, who is left out, and most importantly, how we can modify it to better serve Americans of today and the future. There is a lot of information in this book that we don't get from the mainstream media, who present the case mostly for open borders and don't provide any of the nuance on immigration that Salam presents in his book. To sum it up in a few words, it's basically that low-skilled, mass immigration into the US from poor Central American/Latin countries is going to lead to a populist backlash if we don't enact immigration reform. Nowhere in the book does Salam advocate for mass deportations (he's actually in favour of amnesty), and looks to other Western democracies who have successfully (and unsuccessfully) navigated the immigration issue, proposing amendments to America's current immigration policies. I thought this was a fantastic (and quick) read. For anyone who thinks they know what the "correct" stance is to take on the polarizing issue of immigration, they should definitely read this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Clara Roberts

    This was a very dry book but had a lot of good ideas. "We should admit immigrants only if we are fully committed to their integration and assimilation." The median age of non-Hispanic white is 43 while the Hispanic is 28."The median age for backs is33 and Asians 36. "A more selective, skills-based immigration system.... would make the challenges we face more tractable." "We could reduce migration pressures by raising income from source counties."

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Lamb

    If you get past the ridiculous, hyperbolic title and the straw man arguments, Salam has some interesting ideas. Too bad we won't actually implement them because when we debate issues, we end up using hyperbole and straw mans.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Figueiredo

    Reihan Salam makes a good case for pro-immigrant, restricted compromise on immigration. While his solution leans towards more restrictive entry than now, it likely ruffles feathers on left and right. He calls for a one-time amnesty, support for building up opportunities in home countries, and government efforts to lessen immigrant poverty with tougher enforcement of the laws and a points-based system that prioritizes skill. Salam accounts for counter-arguments and doesn't engage in the typical f Reihan Salam makes a good case for pro-immigrant, restricted compromise on immigration. While his solution leans towards more restrictive entry than now, it likely ruffles feathers on left and right. He calls for a one-time amnesty, support for building up opportunities in home countries, and government efforts to lessen immigrant poverty with tougher enforcement of the laws and a points-based system that prioritizes skill. Salam accounts for counter-arguments and doesn't engage in the typical fear-mongering that surrounds this issue. His own experience as the son of immigrants resonated with me, and those on the left would do well to accept that questioning our immigration system can go along with being pro-immigrant. Restriction vs open borders is not a debate over xenophobia or not. Following this complexity, most of Salam's argument revolves not around American jobs, but more around how our system opens the doors to low-skilled workers whose absence would lead to innovation. These immigrants and their children, according to Salam, are more likely to remain mired in poverty, necessitate government benefits, and fail to integrate into the American fabric. This argument is pretty compelling, although I don't know that a dearth of immigrant workers would necessarily lead to innovation. In recent years, we've seen shortages of immigrant workers lead to unpacked fruits, not to more mechanization. Maybe that's a matter of time, but it calls into question the idea that we should accept restrictions because markets will adjust. He also is too cavalier towards offshoring, which he sees as a potential flipside of restricting low-skill immigration. Offshoring has destroyed many communities, and we haven't seen the proper recovery in wages that its proponents expected. Scaling up human capital among the domestic working class is far more challenging than Salam's argument assumes. Therefore, I agree that immigration should serve America's national interests but disagree with strictly limiting low-skilled migration and brushing off the after-effects. However, Salam's warnings about isolation and poverty are important to read. I thought about France, where suburbs are filled with struggling, isolated immigrants, creating a powder keg of anger. To avoid such a situation here, we must embrace welcomeness for those who are here and ensure that we have control over incoming migration. The United States can support immigration while acknowledging that it must be managed. Salam made me think more about a points system. Unlike people like Tom Cotton's, I'm confident that his proposal takes into mind our country's immigrant heritage. Incorporating family structures into points would maintain some of the advantages of our current system --prioritizing keeping family units together. I find this important, even if not for economic reasons. The one-time amnesty + stricter enforcement combo is likely the best way forward for our country on immigration, and Salam convinced me to give more thought to a points system, albeit not an overly restrictive one. I do have some questions about the chapter regarding aiding other countries in stemming emigration. It's probably my development studies background, but allowing Americans to retire in Mexico would open up a whole host of issues and not likely make a huge difference in the Mexican economy. Additionally, charter cities can be a good model in a few places, but it's interesting to see a conservative usually skeptical of government planning upholding them as part of the solution. I doubt that we can just plop down cities elsewhere to disincentivize emigration, and doing so may enable authoritarianism to make them work. Missing from this section is a real analysis of building up governance, food sovereignty, etc to make countries more self-sufficient and improve lives abroad. This would be the better idea. If you read one book from the right on immigration, make it this one. Despite some of my disagreements, Salam presents a strong and readable case for a new paradigm on the issue. His suggestions break through the broken back-and-forth of the 24-hour news cycle and that's worth a lot.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rāhul

    Reihan Salam, American son of Bangladeshi immigrants, introduces much needed civility and nuance into the heated debate on immigration, a debate where the two sides today barely listen to each other. Salam's central argument is that continuously high levels of immigration from particular source countries condemn low-skill immigrants into ethnic enclaves that are repeatedly replenished with fresh arrivals, and that such an environment with little incentive for integration is not conducive to the Reihan Salam, American son of Bangladeshi immigrants, introduces much needed civility and nuance into the heated debate on immigration, a debate where the two sides today barely listen to each other. Salam's central argument is that continuously high levels of immigration from particular source countries condemn low-skill immigrants into ethnic enclaves that are repeatedly replenished with fresh arrivals, and that such an environment with little incentive for integration is not conducive to the prevention of intergenerational poverty and permanent marginalization of immigrant groups. While a pause in high immigration levels between 1920s and 1960 coincided with the integration of groups like Italian and Irish Americans into the mainstream, continued high levels of immigration today correlates with a strong latino identity in the USA. Salam proposes amnesty for illegal immigrants in the country today, but only with a long-term pause in low-skilled immigration, adoption of a points based skilled immigration system, and funding for integrating the children of today's immigrant poor. On the worldwide imbalance between literally billions of poor who would like to move to western democracies if given the chance, and the inability or unwillingness of the latter to accomodate these would-be migrants, Salam's solution is to fund new charter cities in their native countries that are integrated with global capital and supply chains. Global inequality may be addressed only slowly, but inequality within rich countries is not exacerbated in the process. While overall, this book is commendable for the reasoned and moral arguments Salam advances, a major omission is the role that racial & cultural differences between immigrants and resident elites plays in prospects of integrating immigrants, the solution for which has to lie deeper than policy tools like amnesty and a change of the economic mix of new immigrants.

  10. 4 out of 5

    E

    This is a prime example of top-notch public policy/think-tankery. Salam has spent a long time thinking about these issues. The book covers a lot more than the current immigration crisis (dare I say "emergency"? Hear hear!). It discusses assimilation, offshoring, robotics, poverty, reverse-immigration, retirement, welfare, and more. Salam offers the sort of smart solutions that will keep immigration from getting out of hand while still meeting the economic needs that low-skill immigrants currentl This is a prime example of top-notch public policy/think-tankery. Salam has spent a long time thinking about these issues. The book covers a lot more than the current immigration crisis (dare I say "emergency"? Hear hear!). It discusses assimilation, offshoring, robotics, poverty, reverse-immigration, retirement, welfare, and more. Salam offers the sort of smart solutions that will keep immigration from getting out of hand while still meeting the economic needs that low-skill immigrants currently meet. Some of it is obvious; some of it is inspired. Those illegals who have been here a decade will almost certainly have to be amnestied. Border security should be beefed up, but on Mexico's southern border just as much as our own. Retirees should be allowed to move out of the country but keep their Medicare benefits. Innovative planned megacities should be seeded today in Africa and Asia (learning from China's successes and mistakes). Chain migration should be heavily modified by moving to a "point" system where relation earns some points, but then so does educational achievement, earnings potential, etc. What impressed me most in this book was Salam's thoughts on the dangers of a permanent underclass versus the other scenarios--broad-based prosperity, geographic bifurcation, lowered standard of living for all, or any number of other possibilities. Salam points to how immigration cannot be separated from economic growth, but perhaps not in the ways we commonly assume. Everyone should read this book. Especially congressmen. and Senators. And presidential candidates. Maybe even presidents, if they're into that sort of thing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    From the executive editor of National Review comes this important treatment of U.S. immigration. The author himself is the son of Bangladeshi immigrants to the United States who grew up in a liberal enclave of New York City, in Brooklyn. Thus he has seen and experienced firsthand the challenges and benefits of immigration and brings a keen and insightful perspective to the issues facing this country at a time of heightened sensitivities surrounding the dilemma. The U.S. has let in far too many l From the executive editor of National Review comes this important treatment of U.S. immigration. The author himself is the son of Bangladeshi immigrants to the United States who grew up in a liberal enclave of New York City, in Brooklyn. Thus he has seen and experienced firsthand the challenges and benefits of immigration and brings a keen and insightful perspective to the issues facing this country at a time of heightened sensitivities surrounding the dilemma. The U.S. has let in far too many low-skilled immigrants in recent decades and now faces years of growing unrest and potential havoc as those newcomers and their offspring face uncertainty about their economic and legal prospects in this country. Reihan Salam ultimately advocates a hybrid approach to immigration, some level of amnesty for those already living here unauthorized, together with a points system to reward applicants for citizenship who possess skills that would facilitate a smoother transition to U.S. life, such as English language skills, levels of education, and job prospects in this country. Salam rests his arguments on sound research from both left and right and argues that most Americans are not divided about preferring higher functioning immigrants to low-skilled. For me this debate turns on the need to assimilate those who come, and we have plenty examples both here and abroad where failure to integrate new citizens breeds resentment and creates a dangerous environment that produces unintended results. I am hopeful that voices like Salam's can encourage policymakers to consider the implications of open border approaches and instead seek ways to compromise while respecting the benefits of immigration moderated by the need for national security and to temper the tides of newcomers to prevent disaster.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ben Felts

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's basically just making the argument that we need to have amnesty again for everyone who is already in the US (like was done in the 1980s), but then change the immigration system from now on to more of a skills/points-based system and actually enforce immigration much more strictly going forward. He also goes over some ideas about how the US should be investing in other countries to make it so that people want to stay in their home countries more and not immigrate to the United States. And als It's basically just making the argument that we need to have amnesty again for everyone who is already in the US (like was done in the 1980s), but then change the immigration system from now on to more of a skills/points-based system and actually enforce immigration much more strictly going forward. He also goes over some ideas about how the US should be investing in other countries to make it so that people want to stay in their home countries more and not immigrate to the United States. And also that the the United States government should encourage retired Americans to emigrate to nearby poorer countries to get cheaper medical services and stuff like that rather than having the cheaper labor come here. They were kind of interesting and creative ideas, but they seemed to me like they would be pretty central planning-based and/or neo-imperialist, in practice. Overall, not really a great book. I like the basic idea of making the argument that trying to make some kind of workable compromise on what to do with undocumented/illegal immigration doesn't necessarily make you a crazy open borders advocate and wanting to possibly decrease legal immigration levels and encourage more integration going forward doesn't automatically make you a xenophobic bigot. But he just gets far too wonkish and theoretical in much of the book for my liking. I'd recommend just listening to him dicuss the book on this podcast and skip reading the actual book 😜: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/even... If you still want to read it though, it is a fairly easy read. But I just felt like a lot of the content wasn't really as interesting as the title would suggest (and doesn't really cover much that isn't covered in that podcast episode, at least from what I can recall).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Ellis

    The book could have been an article. It was too repetitive. Salam never articulates what open borders are: anyone can come with family connections? No quota numbers per year? I think we should up the number of refugees allowed in and H-1 visa recipients. We should take in more skilled immigrants and prioritize those applicants over non-immediate family. We should also legalize everyone living here today through a 1-2 year process. No one can say if low-skilled jobs will be drastically reduced by The book could have been an article. It was too repetitive. Salam never articulates what open borders are: anyone can come with family connections? No quota numbers per year? I think we should up the number of refugees allowed in and H-1 visa recipients. We should take in more skilled immigrants and prioritize those applicants over non-immediate family. We should also legalize everyone living here today through a 1-2 year process. No one can say if low-skilled jobs will be drastically reduced by automation, so that claim undermines his argument that low-skilled immigrants will become a government burden. He is against the welfare state (or most of it) as the majority of conservatives are. I don't think he offers much evidence for a high portion of low-skilled workers stifling innovation. Also, a lot of research that I have read shows immigrants make more in taxes than they take in benefits. But some of his ideas should be considered like ending certain family-preference categories, taking in more employment-based applicants like Canada, expanding the child tax credit, and giving more funds to bolster countries in Central America to reduce police and political corruption, gang violence, and poverty. Politicians need to start coming up with policies instead of empty slogans and reductive tweets.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Probably the strongest argument I've read favoring immigration restrictions. Salam favors a switch to a system that favors more high-skilled immigration while lowering overall numbers. He largely focuses on economics, assimilation, and technology in making his case. His take is fairly nuanced, in such a way that individuals favoring open-borders would actually find themselves nodding to some of his arguments, while also finding plenty to disagree with. Maybe most interesting are some of his prop Probably the strongest argument I've read favoring immigration restrictions. Salam favors a switch to a system that favors more high-skilled immigration while lowering overall numbers. He largely focuses on economics, assimilation, and technology in making his case. His take is fairly nuanced, in such a way that individuals favoring open-borders would actually find themselves nodding to some of his arguments, while also finding plenty to disagree with. Maybe most interesting are some of his proposals in the final chapters, (1) favoring a broad-based amnesty program coupled with stricter immigration enforcement at home post-amnesty (using E-Verify for employment for example), (2) allowances for the use of Medicare and retirement programs in other countries (3) movement towards a points system for immigration in the US and (4) investment in SEZs promoted by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier (in reference to refugees from Syria in Jordan) or quasi Charter cities in the vein of Paul Romer. There is plenty I either disagree with or need to research further in the book, but if one is trying to read broadly on the topic of immigration, this is one of the stronger arguments for some kind of restriction (which is hard to find IMO).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This is a thoughtful analysis of the current immigration situation with recommendations for immigration policies. The author favors the melting pot ideal for America, and he wants policies that favor immigrants that are likely to be employed and assimilated into American society, rather than remaining as a separate underclass. There is a heavy emphasis on economic aspects of the issue, with lots of relevant statistics. As a compromise the author suggests an amnesty for most current illegal resid This is a thoughtful analysis of the current immigration situation with recommendations for immigration policies. The author favors the melting pot ideal for America, and he wants policies that favor immigrants that are likely to be employed and assimilated into American society, rather than remaining as a separate underclass. There is a heavy emphasis on economic aspects of the issue, with lots of relevant statistics. As a compromise the author suggests an amnesty for most current illegal residents combined with programs to reduce illegal immigration (including enforcement of laws against hiring illegals) and a shift to a skills-based selection process for legal immigrants. Conspicuously absent is a discussion of what to do about refugees from war and crime-torn countries, many of whom do not have skills useful for employment in America.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    a very fresh(for me) perspective on the value of immigration and the immigrant experience, I find this perspective very authentic and the author knows the experience very well. I still do not Like Katar as a country though, Singapor is a benevolent facist dictatorship.. children who grow up second-class citzens will have alot of contempt for their society is spot on I think and will take any slight insult and magnify it, that is true. and i find his optimistic view of the irreplacable nature of a very fresh(for me) perspective on the value of immigration and the immigrant experience, I find this perspective very authentic and the author knows the experience very well. I still do not Like Katar as a country though, Singapor is a benevolent facist dictatorship.. children who grow up second-class citzens will have alot of contempt for their society is spot on I think and will take any slight insult and magnify it, that is true. and i find his optimistic view of the irreplacable nature of un-skilled labour to be optmistic but rather depressing ( to think that alot of skilled workers will probably be replaced by machines and be sales associates) but meh..

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jake Losh

    Salam presents a very nuanced, maybe overly so, argument in favor of immigration restrictions. His arguments seem to me to stand in contrast to the stereotypical version of the restrictionist argument, favoring offshoring, increased spending on domestic social services and welfare and increased economic aid to developing countries as substitutes for immigration-as-economic-aid. The ideas are worth engaging with, even if one disagrees. I can recommend the audiobook as it is narrated by the author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Remember that paradox you heard in Philosophy 101: "This sentence is false"? If its false then its true and if its true then its false. Reihan's book is like a post-Trump version of that. On the one hand, he is against open borders so you want to call him a racist, but on the other hand he is an immigrant person of color so he can't be racist... Are you the racist? We probably won't be able to wrap our heads around this paradox until a democrat takes office who, like in the past (Obama), opposes Remember that paradox you heard in Philosophy 101: "This sentence is false"? If its false then its true and if its true then its false. Reihan's book is like a post-Trump version of that. On the one hand, he is against open borders so you want to call him a racist, but on the other hand he is an immigrant person of color so he can't be racist... Are you the racist? We probably won't be able to wrap our heads around this paradox until a democrat takes office who, like in the past (Obama), opposes open borders and thereby absolves that position of racism. That could be a very long time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Everyone should read this book right now. It nicely and very compactly lays out a lot of the arguments and learning and impacts of both open and closed border immigration. I wouldn’t call it comprehensive but it’s accessible and doesn’t go in for sound bites and it gets around both (or all) sides well. He offers some possible solutions and lots of things to think about. I wish everyone could take about the immigration debate in these matter of fact, fact based ways. We’d likely be doing better t Everyone should read this book right now. It nicely and very compactly lays out a lot of the arguments and learning and impacts of both open and closed border immigration. I wouldn’t call it comprehensive but it’s accessible and doesn’t go in for sound bites and it gets around both (or all) sides well. He offers some possible solutions and lots of things to think about. I wish everyone could take about the immigration debate in these matter of fact, fact based ways. We’d likely be doing better to get to resolution if we could.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leif Paulson

    The author admirably stated and explained many options and case examples to improve and reform immigration in the United States. As someone who's right of center, I usually resort to rule of law. However, the current administration's draconian approach just won't work. So, kudos to Salam for his thoughtful and important work. I just struggle, however, to envision these reforms happening anytime soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Full disclosure: I had to return this one to the library before I was completely finished, but it is good enough that I will check it out again or get myself a copy. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to look past headlines and try to understand impacts of immigration policy. I think it's an accessible read for most. I wouldn't say it aligned with my ideas one hundred percent, but I really appreciated its grounding in research and reality.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hardman

    My instincts favor increasing (legal) immigration, but Reihan Salam’s Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders makes a strong argument for “rebalancing” — i.e., placing “a greater emphasis on skills and a lesser one on extended family ties.” Some thoughts here: The Case for “Rebalancing” Immigration My instincts favor increasing (legal) immigration, but Reihan Salam’s Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders makes a strong argument for “rebalancing” — i.e., placing “a greater emphasis on skills and a lesser one on extended family ties.” Some thoughts here: The Case for “Rebalancing” Immigration

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul Goins

    A very good, very readable analysis of America’s immigration environment. Salam comes at the issue as a conservative-an intelligent and humane conservative. In the book he proposes several solutions that require each side to yield a bit in order to create a rational and effective immigration policy that emphasizes high/skill immigration. I’m in agreement with him on most counts. I’m not optimistic that politicians can set aside their partisan warfare to move forward.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Atkinson

    Well thought-out, and compelling. While Salam could have done a better job citing his sources at times, overall this was a great quick read that offers a synthesis of both sides of the imigration debate.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richard Weaver

    It’s a WONK book for sure, and this dry ... but at least he is trying to find a long term solution to impoverished immigrant children in America. And if you think USA immigration policy is rough, we got nothing on Mexico, Canada, Singapore, or Qatar

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ken Mattes

    A good listen/read. The author has presented various perspectives on immigration issues and proposes some novel approaches to addressing the problem. Financial issues are huge if you support the Globalist perspective of the issue.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gokulakrishnan Saravanan

    Different take on current discourse about immigration

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    Putting some sunlight on the dark foundations of the neoliberal Orthanc.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Thoughtful examination of our immigration challenge that raises some points that you almost certainly hadn’t thought of.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane Heath

    3 1/2 -4 stars as this topic requires thoughtful consideration. The author presents the problems and varied solutions regarding immigration throughout history and varied countries.

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