Informing the Discussion

USD professor Greg Prieto


A new book by Associate Professor of Sociology Greg Prieto, PhD, aims to cut through common narratives and half-truths that surround the immigration debate and provide a short, fact-based primer on immigration in the United States.

Myth and Reality in the U.S. Immigration Debate (Routledge) gives readers a sense of the empirical reality and history behind immigration so they can enter the debate armed with facts.

“The constant drum of social media and the day-to-day news cycles can make it hard for the average person to feel informed about immigration,” says Prieto. “Arming people with clear and concise knowledge about the
actual effect of immigration on society is critical.”

In a short 80 pages, Prieto seeks to boil down the essential dimensions of the immigration debate, sharing key insights that typically stay siloed within academia and making them accessible to a broader audience.

The book’s chapters look at the enforcement and public policy sides of immigration, providing a brief history of immigration in the U.S., debunking common myths, showing how collective political choices have created the current system and addressing the racial overtones that surround the immigration debate.

Prominent myths that the book tackles include whether immigrants commit more crimes than those born in the U.S.: whether immigrants have a negative net impact on wages: and whether immigrants have a negative impact on local and state budgets.

The book is of particular interest for those who wish to engage in a sober and compassionate conversation about immigrants and immigration in the United States.

“Social science and history reveal that immigrants are hardly the threat to the country and community that they are made out to be, and indeed make contributions that power the economy and enrich our society,” adds Prieto.

Myth and Reality in the U.S. Immigration Debate is available now and can be ordered from bookstores everywhere.Daniel Telles

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