In This Review

Thinking the Unthinkable: The Immigration Myth Exposed
Thinking the Unthinkable: The Immigration Myth Exposed
By Nigel Harris
I. B. Tauris, 2002, 183 pp.

This thought-provoking and refreshingly forthright book advocates removing all border controls on the movement of people. Harris addresses primarily his native United Kingdom, but he sweeps Europe, Japan, and even the United States into his indictment. He suggests distinguishing clearly between the "right to work," which should be open to all, and the "right to immigrate," i.e., to settle permanently. Many gains would flow from freedom to migrate for work, not only to the persons directly involved and their families but also to the rich receiving countries, where unskilled labor is increasingly scarce in sectors such as nursing-home care. Meanwhile, the home countries will benefit not only from remittances but from the skills learned abroad. The costs of immigration are vastly exaggerated, Harris argues, and controls on migration are increasingly severe and degrading. Furthermore, they do not work: illegal migration continues to rise, and arranging for it encourages criminal syndicates. Given greater opportunity, economic migration will rise but not to insupportable levels; most people want to stay near their ancestral homes. In short, Harris concludes, border controls should be focused on reducing criminal activity, not on keeping

people out.