Let Them In – Endorsements & Reviews

Let Them In Book Page

let them in book cover“A mere book might not change the (immigration) equation. But if any book deserves to have such an impact, it is “Let Them In,” by Wall Street Journal editorial writer Jason Riley, writing from a strongly conservative, Reaganite free-market perspective. While occasionally impassioned and sardonic, for the most part it is a sober demolition of six of the most prominent arguments against open immigration using the most reliable studies and statistics available. It demonstrates that there is simply no intellectually coherent case for restricting immigration, and that in fact to restrict immigration would do this country serious harm.” –Alan W. Bock, Orange County Register (read the entire Orange County Register review)


“[Riley] puts forth the most persuasive, sustained case for a liberal immigration policy yet published.” –James Kirchick, Policy Review(read the entire review)


“The majority of the book is given to a clear-headed and painstaking demolition of the major myths used to scare the population into believing immigrants are working powerfully against their interests.” –Ezra Klein, Barnes & Noble Review (Read the entire review)


“Jason Riley deals not only with the canard of cheap labor but has built his book around what he calls “six common arguments against immigration and why they are wrong.” Mr. Riley’s book will prove an invaluable and trusty volume for all who are engaged in the great debate over public policy in this country.” –Seth Lipsky, New York Sun (read the whole review)


“Excels in its analysis of the economic benefits of immigration, and in showing that individual states with large legal and illegal immigrant populations are faring better than one might suspect.” – Peter Wehner, Commentary magazine (read the entire review)


“Let Them In was written by a dedicated free-market conservative, not a love-in liberal like me. Riley opens his persuasive book with a long quotation from Ronald Reagan, who, despite his many faults, expressed a deep understanding of the immigration dynamic:

“All of the immigrants who came to us brought their own music, literature, customs and ideas. And the marvelous thing, a thing of which we’re proud, is they did not have to relinquish these things in order to fit in. In fact, what they brought to America became American. And this diversity has more than enriched us; it has literally shaped us.”


Amen, brother.” –Geoff Schumacher, Las Vegas Review-Journal(read the entire review)


“Anticipating the upcoming presidential election, Riley, a member of theWall Street Journal editorial board, here addresses six aspects of the American immigration debate. He begins with a compelling look at the issue from a historical perspective, demonstrating surprising anti-immigration links among the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and a white supremacist known as ‘The Puppeteer.’ He then asserts that immigrants overwhelmingly tend to be either unskilled laborers or extremely skilled specialists and so are therefore not competing with average Americans for jobs. Riley writes of his belief that immigrant workers have various positive economic and practical effects on the American job market, and he argues controversially that if America were to switch to exclusively consumption-based taxation, the effect of illegal immigrants on welfare would be a nonissue. His conclusions support economist Gordan Hanson’s claim that there is little evidence that legal immigration is economically preferable to illegal immigration. Unfortunately, Riley relies on sweeping generalizations and percentage-based statistics of vague provenance to support his points. A great conversation starter but not a stellar reference source; recommended for public libraries.” — Robert Perret, Library Journal


“The argument that immigrants depress wages, displace workers, boost crime and disease, and pose a threat to the national security of the U.S. runs counter to political ideals of free trade and the views of conservative hero President Ronald Reagan, who supported amnesty for illegal immigrants and open borders, according to Riley, a conservative columnist. He briefly examines the long and sordid history of opposition to immigrants from Germany, Ireland, China, and, more recently, Latin America. Riley notes that immigration opponents are joined in their resistance to open borders by some environmentalists concerned about the impact on the earth of a burgeoning U.S. population. He challenges the notion that the current targets of immigrant ire—Hispanics—are somehow different from immigrants of the past. Riley also explores the compatibility between open immigration and free-market conservatism and homeland security. Because immigrants strengthen the economy through their labor and entrepreneurism, our policy on immigration should recognize economic realities and focus on providing legal ways for immigrants to enter the country through guest-worker programs, according to Riley. An illuminating look at immigration. — Vanessa Bush, Booklist


“The immigration debate seems to have been taken over by shrill anti-immigrant voices. Ace editorialist Jason Riley restores some balance with this calm, reasoned, highly compelling presentation of the case for immigration. His fact-laden polemic should make even the most die-hard xenophobe think twice. He shows why immigrants are a net plus, and why illegal immigration isn’t the crisis it has been made out to be.” — Max Boot, senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, author of War Made New andSavage Wars of Peace


“Jason Riley puts today’s fierce immigration debate into perspective, and he does so with crisp writing and thoughtful analysis. Let Them In is a welcome contribution to a national discussion that is too often dominated by fear-mongering and misinformation. Free-market adherents ought to embrace open-immigration policies, and this tightly drawn book explains why.” — Arthur Laffer, Chairman of Laffer Associates


“Jason Riley makes a very comprehensive argument for an Open Borders policy. People on all sides of this would do well to understand where he is coming from.” — Lawrence Lindsey, former chief economic adviser to President George W. Bush