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Skilled Immigration TodayProspects, Problems, and Policies$
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Jagdish Bhagwati and Gordon Hanson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195382433

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195382433.001.0001

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Individual Preferences over High-Skilled Immigration in the United States

Individual Preferences over High-Skilled Immigration in the United States

Chapter:
(p.207) 8 Individual Preferences over High-Skilled Immigration in the United States
Source:
Skilled Immigration Today
Author(s):

Gordon Hanson

Kenneth Scheve

Matthew J. Slaughter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195382433.003.0008

There is the argument that the average citizen will feel less threatened by skilled immigrants, for assimilation reasons and because the skilled immigrants are not perceived as a drain on the fiscal situation. This chapter examines this issue in the United States, using the data for different states, and finds that the skilled-to-unskilled composition of immigrant inflows does matter in shaping public attitudes toward immigration policy. Less highly skilled natives tend to support freer immigration more when living in states with a relatively skilled mix of immigrants. The sensitivity of less highly skilled natives' opinions to the skill composition of immigrants resonates with earlier findings of concern over the labor-market pressures of immigration. The chapter also considers the political implications of proposals to reform U.S. immigration policy.

Keywords:   immigration policy, assimilation, skilled immigrants, political conflict, immigrant mix

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