Expert to discuss immigrants — Are they a blessing or a bane?

MIDDLEBURY — Immigration expert Harriet Orcutt Duleep will deliver the fall 2013 edition of the D.K. Smith ’42 Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 4:30 p.m. at Middlebury College’s Twilight Auditorium. Orcutt is research professor of public policy at the College of William and Mary. Her lecture is titled “The New Immigrants — Blessing or Bane?”
With the movement away from the national-origin quota system in 1965, immigration to America increased substantially.Accordingly, the source-country composition of American immigration shifted from one of largely European origin to one of largely Asian and Latin American origin, from countries that are less economically developed.
This sea change in the quantity and character of American immigration — like the waves of immigrants that arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries — has led to concerns about the impact of the new immigrants (both legal and illegal) on the U.S. economy. It has fostered calls to reform the current family-based immigration policy.
Topics covered in Professor Duleep’s talk will include the role of the family in immigrant economic assimilation, the effect of immigrants on the wages and employment of natives, and an overview of the current immigration policy options being considered by the House, the Senate, and the White House. A special emphasis will be on why policies that encourage immigrants to stay in the U.S. permanently — such as the “Dream Act” — are a good idea.

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