|NCAER hosted a book talk by Neeraj Kaushal, Professor of Social Policy at Columbia University, on her latest book, Blaming Immigrants: Nationalism and the Economics of Global Movement (January 2019; Columbia University Press). Mr Sanjoy Hazarika, Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and Mr Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Senior Editor, Hindustan Times, offered their comments after the book talk. The seminar was attended by members of NCAER Research Team and invited guests.
Citing examples from around the globe, Dr Kaushal discussed the growing discontent towards immigration globally. Immigration is shaking up electoral politics around the world and more and more countries around the globe are enforcing restrictions. In her presentation, Dr Kaushal concentrated on whether immigrants are the cause or a scapegoat of the discontent. Based on her book on immigration, covering both US and other immigration, she pointed out the core causes of rising global disaffection with immigrants and her views on the common complaints against immigration. She found that it is neither the volume nor pace of immigration that is fueling disaffection, but it is the willingness of nations to accept, absorb, and manage new immigration. In her presentation, she demystified common misconceptions about immigration, showing that the level of global mobility is historically typical and that most immigration occurs through legal frameworks. She also highlighted that the U.S. system, far from being broken, works quite well most of the time, its unique features are replicated by many countries, and the recent and proposed anti-immigrant measures in the US are likely to cause human suffering without deterring potential migrants. She said that a lot can be learnt from the immigration related experiences of other countries and that immigration should be looked into as an opportunity and not a threat.
Neeraj Kaushal is Professor of Social Policy and Chair of the doctoral program at the Columbia School of Social Work. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. An economist by training, she has been writing on global immigration issues for three decades. In addition to Blaming Immigrants, she has authored or co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on immigrants and other vulnerable populations. She writes a monthly column in the Economic Times. She holds a BA and an MA in economics from Delhi University and a PhD in economics from the City University of New York.