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By Philippe Legrain 4 COMMENTS

Immigrants: Your Country Needs ThemImmigration divides our globalising world like no other issue. We are being swamped by bogus asylum-seekers and infiltrated by terrorists, our jobs stolen, our benefit system abused, our way of life destroyed – or so we are told. As dishevelled Africans land on Spanish tourist beaches, Chinese cockle-pickers drown in Morecambe Bay and the death-toll in the past decade on the US-Mexican border rises above 9/11’s, Philippe Legrain, author of the critically acclaimed Open World, has written the first book that looks beyond the headlines. Why are ever-rising numbers of people from poor countries arriving in Europe, North America and Australasia? Can we keep them out? Should we even be trying?

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Combining compelling first-hand reporting from around the world, incisive socio-economic analysis and a broad understanding of what’s at stake politically and culturally, Immigrants is a passionate, but lucid book. In our open world, more people will inevitably move across borders, Legrain says – and we should generally welcome them. They do the jobs we can’t or won’t do – and their diversity enriches us all. Left and right; free-marketeers and campaigners for global justice; enlightened patriots – all should rally behind the cause of freer migration, because They need Us and We need Them.

Energetic and right-minded … In all important respects Legrain is right on target; one turns his pages to the almost audible sound of nails being smacked on the head. In the context of the fearful chatter that surrounds the subject, sense as good as this needs cherishing
Robert Winder, The Guardian

Legrain performs an invaluable service; he makes a good case for the unpopular cause of free flows of people. The book is a superb combination of direct reportage with detailed analysis of the evidence
Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Legrain has assembled powerful evidence to undermine the economic arguments against immigration
The Economist

The case for immigration … is grounded in hard economic fact, as Philippe Legrain shows in Immigrants – a passionate and cogent plea for liberalising migration
Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times

The single best non-technical defense of a liberal immigration policy. What I liked most was how it put U.S. debates in a broader context; most American sources don’t do this… The book is original in this regard, yet without moving beyond easily understood arguments
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

We expect crisp writing and careful analysis from Philippe Legrain. In Immigrants, he adds reporting from across the world and a passionate defense of our freedom to cross borders. By turns logical, daring, and compassionate, this is a terrific book
Tim Harford, author, The Undercover Economist

Not merely a demonstration of the beneficial effects of immigration to date, it is also an earnest plea for a more liberal policy of open borders throughout the world
The Australian

A timely and important contribution to one of today’s most emotive debates
The Herald, Glasgow

Full of striking information and thought-provoking statistics, and even those already well-versed in the subject will learn a lot from it… a vigorous and stimulating contribution to one of the most important debates of our time
The Sunday Business Post, Dublin

This is a timely and important book, well researched and very readable, which should be studied by every minister, MP and newspaper editor, some of whom are both ignorant of the issues and ready to join in the hysteria against immigrants to win support and readers — which is very dangerous.
Tony Benn

Most people realise it would be absurd to stop cross-border trade in goods and services, but still think it makes sense to stop the movement across borders of the people who produce the goods and services. With this fact-filled and extremely convincing book, Philippe Legrain sets the record straight and shows that migration can benefit the migrants, the country they leave and the country they move to. Our understanding of globalisation was incomplete. This book makes it whole.
Johan Norberg, author, In Defence of Global Capitalism

Posted 20 Mar 2001 in Books

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