The Economic Integration of Immigrants in the United States: Lessons for Policy

  • George J. Borjas
Part of the Studies in Development Economics and Policy book series (SDEP)


Concerns over the assimilation prospects of new immigrants to the United States have dominated the debate over US immigration policy since colonial days. Benjamin Franklin, for example, doubting the wisdom of German immigration, called the incoming migrants ‘the most stupid of their own nation’, and warned that ‘through their indiscretion, or ours, or both, great disorders may one day arise among us’. But Franklin also appreciated the benefits of assimilation and even made specific policy recommendations about how to speed up the process: ‘All that seems necessary is, to distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools where they are now too thick settled’ (Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Pamphlet, 1751–5)


Immigrant Population Economic Integration Immigration Policy Mexican Immigrant Native Worker 
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© United Nations University — World Institute for Development Economics Research 2005

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  • George J. Borjas

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