Watching America’s Door

The Immigration Backlash and the New Policy Debate

Roberto Suro
Release Date: September 1, 1996

Immigration to the United States, legal and illegal, has increased dramatically during the last two decades, prompting a flurry of proposals and initiatives from across the political spectrum that would begin to close America’s doors. Driven by the politics of deficit reduction, fear of foreigners, and a shrinking economic pie for American citizens, an intense and divisive debate has developed over how many immigrants the U.S. should accept, how it should pick them, what government benefits they should receive, and how far the nation should go to exclude the unwanted.

In this book, Roberto Suro presents the facts about America’s most recent wave of immigrants, examines current immigration policy, sorts through the conflicting agenda for reform, and offers recommendations that are both feasible and in the long-term public interest.