Gemma Alexander's Reviews > Immigrant America: A Portrait

Immigrant America by Alejandro Portes
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's review
Nov 08, 2008

really liked it
Read in October, 2008

I am often disappointed by the quality of the science in social science books, especially when written for a lay audience. But this book does an excellent, comprehensive survey of all of the research on immigration over the past hundred years. It points out the flaws in much of the early research, and acknowledges the limitations of newer research that supports their own thesis. The book is dense as a result, but worth the effort. The only weakness I found was that the authors did not always make clear distinctions between the impacts and conditions of legal vs. illegal immigration, either lumping the two together or remaining unclear about what was actually included in the study. They did finally directly address the issue of illegal Mexican migration in the concluding chapter, but I would have enjoyed the book more if they had acknowledged the significance of this special case throughout the book.

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