CGD in the News

U.S. Immigration Is Less Welcoming Than 24 Major Nations. Trump’s Plan Would Put Us Behind 28. (Washington Post)

February 16, 2018

From the article: 

...critics say that America does not have unusually high, or even above-average, levels of immigration for an advanced nation. “This shows the United States does not have the most generous immigration policies in the world, and is one of the least generous countries in many respects,” said David Bier, an analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank that has opposed Trump's plan. “The administration’s proposal would make America an even more incredibly ungenerous country on immigration than it already is.”

People who favor immigration restrictions counter that America does take in a large number of immigrants overall. Germany takes in more than 800,000 immigrants annually — no countries other than Germany and America takes in more than 500,000 — and political leaders there have faced a fierce backlash for doing so from the right. Under Trump's plan, America would take in fewer immigrants annually than Germany, but still more than any other developed nation. The Cotton-Perdue plan would lead America to take in about 500,000 immigrants annually, while Spain takes in 457,826 and the United Kingdom accepts 403,435.
Michael Clemens, an immigration expert at the Center for Global Development, also noted that comparing American immigration rates to some European Union countries may not be fair, given that, for example, the “immigrants flowing into Luxembourg are [likely] very similar to the Luxembourgeois.” But he noted that the same could not be said of Canada and Australia, both of which have higher per capita immigration rates than the U.S. and similarly diverse immigrant populations.

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