In This Review

The Case Against Immigration: The Moral, Economic, Social, and Environmental Reasons for Reducing U.S. Immigration Back to Traditional Levels
The Case Against Immigration: The Moral, Economic, Social, and Environmental Reasons for Reducing U.S. Immigration Back to Traditional Levels
By Roy Beck
W. W. Norton, 1996, 287 pp

A powerful and disturbing tract that recommends reducing legal immigration to as close to zero as possible. Beck argues that immigration at recent levels -- 720,000 legal immigrants were admitted in 1995 -- has exacerbated income inequality, badly worsened the economic prospects of black Americans, disrupted local communities, and, through sheer force of numbers, ravaged the environment. Anti-immigrationists are often tagged as nativists and xenophobes by their critics. Beck shows that the race card can be played by both sides; perhaps the most telling chapters of this book are those that argue that large-scale immigration since 1965 has played an important role in arresting the economic progress of blacks. The author says little about illegal immigration and the price that would be paid in personal liberty by increased efforts to crack down on it, but as persuasively as anyone he states the case and marshals the evidence for restricting the high levels of legal immigration.