IMMIGRATION by Lydia Anderson


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The first half of this short survey is a dry rundown on American immigration in the past--the groups that came, the reception they received, the laws that controlled them. There are a few quotes (one from Ben Franklin on the Germans) which illustrate that prejudice has always been with us, but numerous other books, including the ongoing Delacorte series, document anti-foreign feeling more fully. Otherwise this is a mixture of dull facts and figures with unhelpful generalizations, clichÉs, and pure mush: ""The Germans. . .gave us our covered wagons, kindergartens and gymnasiums, frankfurters, cole slaw and dill pickles, as well as Pabst, Schlitz, Miller, and Budweiser beers""; The Irish ""helped build our police forces. [They] tended to be heavy drinkers and their rowdyism was deplored. But they brought us their lighthearted lilting music and their jigs and reels and clogs. . . ."" Anderson's later discussion of new-wave Asian and Latin American immigrants, legal and illegal, is less curt. Here she considers the issues and problems of immigration policy today, especially as presented by the Congress' Select Committee on Immigration and Refugee Policy. These include questions of the newcomers' economic impact (do they strain social services? take jobs from natives?), the possibility of securing the Mexican border, the dilemma of illegal refugees from Cuba and Haiti, and the introduction of worker ID cards to control the hiring of illegals. However, Bentley (below) deals with these issues in a more faceted and considered discussion of the new immigration.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1981
ISBN: 0313380287
Publisher: Watts