We hear about the “crisis” at the border all the time in the news. Every president in recent history has struggled politically with what to do with the surges of people trying to immigrate to the US, primarily over its southern border. And most Americans today have opinions about immigration policy but are less knowledgeable about the current state of immigration in the country and what policies contribute to the kind of immigration they would like to have.

Our guest on the podcast today, director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute, Alex Nowrasteh, spoke to Dr. Jennifer Thompson about what’s really going on with immigration in the United States. What do people say they want and how does that stack up against our current policy? And what he’s learned over the years from his conversations with people across the political spectrum about immigration.

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Show Notes:

Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development

E Pluribus Unum: Findings from the Cato Institute 2021 Immigration and Identity National Survey

The Most Common Arguments Against Immigration and Why They’re Wrong, Alex Nowrasteh

Wretched Refuse?: The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions (Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society, Alex Nowrasteh and Benjamin Powell

Cato research on immigration

About our guest:

Alex Nowrasteh is the director of immigration studies and the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and most other major publications in the United States.

His peer‐ reviewed academic publications have appeared in the World Bank Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Behavior, Organization, Public Choice, and others. Nowrasteh regularly appears on Fox News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, and numerous television and radio stations across the United States.

He is the coauthor (with Benjamin Powell) of the book Wretched Refuse? The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2020), which is the first book on how economic institutions in receiving countries adjust to immigration. He is also the coauthor (with Mark S. Krikorian) of the booklet Open Immigration: Yea and Nay (Encounter Broadsides, 2014) and has contributed numerous book chapters about immigration to various edited volumes.

He is a native of Southern California and received a BA in economics from George Mason University and an MS in economic history from the London School of Economics.