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The Other Americans, How Immigrants Renew Our Country, Our Economy, and Our Values

The United States is a nation of immigrants, but in recent years all too often it has been said that arrivals from other countries are undermining the nation. In The Other Americans Joel Millman forcefully argues that immigrants are, in fact, the hope of America. Millman, a former editor at Forbes, presents case histories showing how immigrant families have provided a very positive impact in U.S. cities that many have written off. The stories are complex, but Millman does a very good job of presenting the facts, drawing vivid portraits of people who are arriving in the United States and making it a better place. (from

From Booklist

Millman, who has been an editor at Forbes, is now based in Mexico City, where he is the Latin American correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. From that vantage point, he provides his take on one of the most complex issues facing the U.S. today. Millman acknowledges that the topic of immigration can stir both ambivalent opinions and strong emotions. He comes out foursquare in support of immigration, focusing on migration from Third World countries because "our concerns about immigration are generated by visitors from the non-European world." Eschewing what he calls "the numbers game," Millman present mostly anecdotal evidence. He argues that the U.S. attracts talent that, in turn, contributes to our strength, but he does not look only at individual achievement. He suggests that communities of immigrants with strong entrepreneurial and family values have reversed the decline of major urban areas; he offers as examples the Haitians in Delray Beach, Florida; the West Indians in Brooklyn; and the Brazilians in Framingham, Massachusetts. David Rouse

Book Description

Award-winning journalist Joel Millman brings a provocative point of view and original reporting to the growing immigration debate, seeing newly arrived Americans as a solution to, rather than the cause of, our economic ills. Going behind the political slogans and angry posturing, banishing the images of mainstream success and crippled dependency, The Other Americans describes the often misunderstood everyday economic lives of immigrants. The people Millman profiles here--Indian motel owners, Mexican entrepreneurs, Chinese farmers, and Caribbean real estate owners--live in an America of their own making. Exploiting their determination, their family connections, the financial support and protection of mutual aid societies and savings circles, these immigrants have reclaimed America's lost neighborhoods, neglected industries, and declining services. Attracted to the United States by the promise of a better life, they are bringing hope to the blighted areas of America. Must reading for anyone with an opinion on the future of immigration in this country, The Other Americans is the first book to provide hard facts and evidence from real lives.

Chapter Nine: Delray Beach, Florida (a 28 page chapter)

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