"They Take Our Jobs!"

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2007-06-01
  • Publisher: Beacon Press

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This timely and accessible guide debunks the twenty-one biggest myths and stereotypes in today's immigration debateClaims that immigrants take Americans' jobs, are a drain on the American economy, contribute to poverty and inequality, destroy the social fabric, challenge American identity, and contribute to a host of social ills by their very existence are openly discussed and debated at all levels of society. Chomsky dismantles twenty of the most common assumptions and beliefs underlying statements like "I'm not against immigration, only illegal immigration" and challenges the misinformation in clear, straightforward prose.In exposing the myths that underlie today's debate, Chomsky illustrates how the parameters and presumptions of the debate distort how we think-and have been thinking-about immigration. She observes that race, ethnicity, and gender were historically used as reasons to exclude portions of the population from access to rights. Today, Chomsky argues, the dividing line is citizenship. Although resentment against immigrants and attempts to further marginalize them are still apparent today, the notion that non-citizens, too, are created equal is virtually absent from the public sphere. Engaging and fresh, this book will challenge common assumptions about immigrants, immigration, and U.S. history.

Author Biography

Aviva Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American Studies at Salem State College. The author of several books, Chomsky has been active in Latin American solidarity and immigrants' rights issues for over twenty-five years. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Immigrants and the economy
Immigrants take American jobsp. 3
Immigrants compete with low-skilled workers and drive down wagesp. 11
Unions oppose immigration because it harms the working classp. 30
Immigrants don't pay taxesp. 36
Immigrants are a drain on the economyp. 39
Immigrants send most of what they earn out of the country in the form of remittancesp. 46
Immigrants and the law
The rules apply to everyone, so new immigrants need to follow them just as immigrants in the past didp. 53
The country is being overrun by illegal immigrantsp. 58
The United States has a generous refugee policyp. 64
Immigration and race
The United States is a melting pot that has always welcomed immigrants from all over the worldp. 77
Since we are all the descendants of immigrants here, we all start on equal footingp. 91
Today's immigrants threaten the national culture because they are not assimilatingp. 103
Today's immigrants are not learning English, and bilingual education just adds to the problemp. 110
How have U.S. policies created immigration?
Immigrants only come here because they want to enjoy our higher standard of livingp. 121
Case study : the Philippinesp. 133
The debate at the turn of the millennium
The American public opposes immigration, and the debate in Congress reflects thatp. 149
The overwhelming victory of Proposition 187 in California shows that the public opposes immigrationp. 162
Immigration is a problemp. 166
Countries need to control who goes in and outp. 171
We need to protect our borders to prevent criminals and terrorists from entering the countryp. 180
If people break our laws by immigrating illegally, they are criminals and should be deportedp. 184
The problems this book raises are so huge that there's nothing we can do about themp. 188
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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