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Glynn Custred writes:
An article by Gary Freeman from U.T. Austin in International Migration Review(1995)[i] explains why the majority of people in a liberal democratic country favor restrictions on immigration but why they will not only fail to get such policies, but why immigration will indeed expand. This, he says, is even more the case in the English-speaking immigrant receiving countries due to the "folklore" of immigration built into their political and popular cultures. (I call it the huddled masses myth.) Freeman also observes the role played by the kind of demonization you have suffered.
A follow-up article[ii] criticizes Freedman (they never let a critic of received wisdom have his say alone). That article, by Rogers Brubaker, concedes all of Freeman's points, complaining only that the model he presents is too inclusive.
Have you ever heard of Freeman's explanation? Of course not. As far as I know he is the only social scientist who is talking about this, and is thus grandly ignored.
[i] Gary Freeman, "Modes of Immigration Politics in Liberal Democratic States," International Migration Review 29:4 (Winter 1995), pp. 881-902.
[ii] Rogers Brubaker, "Comments on 'Modes of immigration politics in liberal democratic states.'" (reply to G. Freeman, in this issue), International Migration Review 29:4 (Winter 1995)
September 21, 2002