Immigration in Perspective

Nov 14, 2003


Dr. Diane Coyle
Noted Professor and Author
University of Manchester, England Institute for Political and Economic Governance 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

For many Americans, the Statue of Liberty symbolizes the willingness of the United States to open its doors to immigrants. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, existing immigration policy has come under fire from both the White House and Congress. As political leaders and policymakers consider the merit of tighter border security, debates about the social and fiscal impacts of both legal and illegal immigration have resurfaced.

Current initiatives are focused mainly on immigration as it relates to national security. But other controversial issues, including granting amnesty to illegal aliens and extending visas to refugees, students and skilled workers, are also of heightened interest. Now, more than ever, Congress is under pressure from constituents, the international community, and varied interest groups to overhaul, liberalize, or otherwise address current shortcomings in the law.

How policymakers react to and understand these pressures will affect our political economy for years to come. Understanding how the dynamics of this issue work in the given political climate is critical. To enhance the policymaker’s ability to grasp this complex issue, the Mercatus Center presents noted economist and author, Dr. Diane Coyle, to work through some of these questions with Hill staffers:

  • How does immigration affect the economy of a country?
  • What impact does immigration have on labor markets and the economy?
  • How should policymakers view immigration policy in light of national security concerns?