The Employment-Based Immigration Reform Solution
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As the controversy over Arizona's new immigration law demonstrates, the economic recession has not taken immigration reform off the table. Far from it. As the debate heats up, public sentiment may reduce the issue to a simplistic choice between open borders and closed fences. This would force policymakers to quickly patch a broken system while ignoring the economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform. At this event, economists Pia Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny will present their proposal for an employment-based immigration policy. Their solution would remove barriers currently preventing potential workers from entering the United States, promote economic growth, and reduce the flow of illegal immigrants. Designed to protect America's economic competitiveness and long-run growth, this plan to overhaul current immigration policy is explained in their recently published study, Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization (AEI Press, 2010). Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks USA will join the authors in the discussion. Henry Olsen, vice president of AEI's National Research Initiative, will moderate.

Agenda

Speaker biographies

Michael Clemens is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he leads the migration and development initiative. His current research focuses on the effects of international migration on people from and in developing countries. Mr. Clemens joined the center after completing his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University, where he wrote his dissertation on economic history and focused on economic development and public finance. His past writings have centered on the effects of foreign aid, determinants of capital flows and the effects of tariff policy in the nineteenth century, and the historical determinants of school-system expansion. Mr. Clemens has been an affiliated associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University and a consultant for the World Bank, Bain & Company, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the United Nations Development Program. He has lived and worked in Brazil, Colombia, and Turkey.
 
Tamar Jacoby is president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of employers working to advance better immigration law. A nationally recognized journalist and author, she is a leading center-right advocate for immigration reform. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, and Foreign Affairs, among other publications. Ms. Jacoby is a regular guest on national television and radio. She is also author of Someone Else's House: America's Unfinished Struggle for Integration (Free Press, 1998) and editor of Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means to Be American (Basic Books, 2004), a collection of essays about immigrant integration. Previously, Ms. Jacoby was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, senior writer and justice editor for Newsweek, and deputy editor of the New York Times op-ed page.

Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.

Pia Orrenius is research officer and senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and adjunct professor at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Ms. Orrenius is also a research fellow at the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University and at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn. She was senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers from 2004 to 2005. Her research focuses on the labor-market impacts of immigration, illegal immigration, and U.S. immigration policy, and her work has appeared in the Journal of Development Economics, Economic Theory, Labour Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Demography, among other publications.

Madeline Zavodny is a professor of economics at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn. She was formerly an associate professor of economics at Occidental College and a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Her research on the economics of immigration has been published in the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Development Economics, Demography, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Research in Labor Economics, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

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Henry
Olsen
  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.

 

Madeline
Zavodny
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