Heaven's Door

by George J. Borjas

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 325

in Heaven's Door, by George J. Borjas, the author details his thoughts on immigration into the United States after a change in the 1965 immigration policy, and how he feels that immigration affects both immigrants and the American economy. Borjas, an immigrant from Cuba himself, presents a narrative about immigration that essentially encourages heavy restrictions on what he considers to be "low-skilled" laborers into the United States. The author presents several commonly held perspectives about immigrants, particularly from Asia, Latin America, and Africa, in which he believes that, while there are some benefits of immigration into the US, the American economy ultimately suffers from an influx of wage workers . Borjas asserts that this immigration of wage workers ultimately hurts the immigrants as well because they must work for such little pay and that the immigration ultimately only really benefits the company owners who pay them such little wages. Borjas believes this reality hurts workers who are citizens because he believes this causes them to have to compete with immigrants who accept jobs as lower wages. Borjas asserts that because of this, there should be heavier restrictions on immigrants coming into the Untied States. What is baffling about this perspective is that it puts no responsibility onto company owners and bosses to pay wage workers, both citizen and non-citizen, higher and equal wages that will increase people's access to higher quality of life. There would not be this competition between citizen workers and immigrant workers if companies had to pay them at equal rates, and at rates that actually supported the cost of living in this country. Borjas takes the stance that many middle class immigrants take in which working class immigrants get scapegoated for the economic problems of the United States. Of course, Borjas also fails to analyze how US economic policies and military aggression have been a direct cause of people being forced to leave their homelands in the first place to search for work.

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