. Identify two ideas for each of the following that demonstrate your thoughts and/or what you’ve learned, appreciated, or have questions about. a. They Say/I SayChapter 7: “So What? Who Cares?”: Saying Why it MattersChapter 8: “As a Result”: Connecting the Partsb. “Essential Skills for Academic Papers,” pages 28-40c. Developing Outlinesd. Writing Main Claims2. Discuss each of the following in 125-150 words. What ideas stand out to you as important and why? What is a topic you’d like to investigate more through your own research? Borjas, George, “The Immigration Debate We Need,” pp. 1-7Douthat, Ross, “The Necessary Immigration Debate,” pp. 1-6Complete all elements of the prompt.Write clearly and logicallySubmit assignment on time.
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The Immigration Debate We Need
By George Borjas
Feb. 27, 2017
The first month of the Trump administration has already changed the
direction of the immigration debate, with many more changes coming
soon. So far, executive orders and deportations dominate the discussion.
But the fight over how many refugees to admit or how best to vet those
refugees obscures what the debate is really about.
Changes in social policy do not make everyone better off, and immigration
policy is no exception. I am a refugee, having fled Cuba as a child in 1962.
Not only do I have great sympathy for the immigrant’s desire to build a
better life, I am also living proof that immigration policy can benefit some
But I am also an economist, and am very much aware of the many tradeoffs involved. Inevitably, immigration does not improve everyone’s wellbeing. There are winners and losers, and we will need to choose among
difficult options. The improved lives of the immigrants come at a price.
How much of a price are the American people willing to pay, and exactly
who will pay it?
This tension permeates the debate over immigration’s effect on the labor
market. Those who want more immigration claim that immigrants do jobs
that native-born Americans do not want to do. But we all know that the
price of gas goes down when the supply of oil goes up. The laws of supply
and demand do not evaporate when we talk about the price of labor rather
than the price of gas. By now, the well-documented abuses
(https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/us/last-task-after-layoff-atdisney-train-foreign-replacements.html?_r=0) of the H-1B program, such
as the Disney workers who had to train their foreign-born replacements,
should have obliterated the notion that immigration does not harm
competing native workers.
Over the past 30 years, a large fraction of immigrants, nearly a third, were
high school dropouts, so the incumbent low-skill work force formed the
core group of Americans who paid the price for the influx of millions of
workers. Their wages fell as much as 6 percent
(http://cis.org/immigration-and-the-american-worker-review-academicliterature). Those low-skill Americans included many native-born blacks
and Hispanics, as well as earlier waves of immigrants.
But somebody’s lower wage is somebody else’s higher profit. The increase
in the profitability of many employers enlarged the economic pie accruing
to the entire native population by about $50 billion
(https://gborjas.org/2016/09/21/nas5/). So, as proponents of more
immigration point out, immigration can increase the aggregate wealth of
Americans. But they don’t point out the trade-off involved: Workers in jobs
sought by immigrants lose out.
They also don’t point out that low-skill immigration has a side effect that
reduces that $50 billion increase in wealth. The National Academy of
Sciences recently estimated the impact of immigration on government
budgets. On a year-to-year basis, immigrant families, mostly because of
their relatively low incomes and higher frequency of participating in
government programs like subsidized health care, are a fiscal burden. A
comparison of taxes paid and government spending on these families
showed that immigrants created an annual fiscal shortfall
(https://gborjas.org/2016/09/21/nas3/) of $43 billion to $299 billion.
Even the most conservative estimate of the fiscal shortfall wipes out much
of the $50 billion increase in native wealth. Remarkably, the size of the
native economic pie did not change much after immigration increased the
number of workers by more than 15 percent. But the split of the pie
certainly changed, giving far less to workers and much more to employers.
The immigration debate will also have to address the long-term impact on
American society, raising the freighted issue of immigrant assimilation. In
recent decades, there has been a noticeable slowdown
in the rate at which the economic status of immigrants improves over
time. In the 1970s, the typical immigrant could expect a substantial
improvement relative to natives over his or her lifetime. Today, the
economic progress of the typical immigrant is much more stagnant.
Part of the slowdown is related to the growth of ethnic enclaves
seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents). New immigrants who find few ethnic
compatriots get value from acquiring skills that allow more social and
economic exchanges, such as becoming proficient in English. But new
immigrants who find a large and welcoming community of their
countrymen have less need to acquire those skills; they already have a
large audience that values whatever they brought with them. Put bluntly,
mass migration discourages assimilation.
The trade-offs become even more difficult when we think about the longterm integration of the children and grandchildren of today’s immigrants.
Many look back at the melting pot in 20th-century America and assume
that history will repeat itself. That’s probably wishful thinking. That
melting pot operated in a particular economic, social and political context,
and it is doubtful that those conditions can be reproduced today.
Many of the Ellis Island-era immigrants got jobs in manufacturing; Ford’s
work force (http://www.ppge.ufrgs.br/Giacomo/arquivos/ecop137/raffsummers-1987.pdf) was 75 percent foreign-born in 1914. Those
manufacturing jobs evolved into well-paid union jobs, creating a privatesector safety net for the immigrants and their descendants. Does anyone
seriously believe that the jobs employing low-skill immigrants today will
offer the same economic mobility that unionized manufacturing jobs
Similarly, the ideological climate that encouraged assimilation back then,
neatly encapsulated by our motto “E pluribus unum” (Out of many, one), is
dead and gone. A recent University of California directive
shows the radical shift. The university’s employees were advised to avoid
using phrases that can lead to “microaggressions” toward students and
one another. One example is the statement “America is a melting pot,”
which apparently sends a message to the recipient that they have to
“assimilate to the dominant culture.”
Europe is already confronting the difficulties produced by the presence of
unassimilated populations. If nothing else, the European experience shows
that there is no universal law that guarantees integration even after a few
generations. We, too, will need to confront the trade-off between shortterm economic gains and the long-term costs of a large, unassimilated
Identifying the trade-offs is only a first step toward a more sensible
immigration policy. We also need some general principles, combining
common sense and compassion.
First and foremost, we must reduce illegal immigration. It has had a
corrosive impact, paralyzing discussion on all aspects of immigration
reform. A wall along the Mexican border may signal that we are getting
serious, but many undocumented immigrants enter the country legally
and then overstay their visas. A national electronic system (such as EVerify) mandating that employers certify new hires, along with fines and
criminal penalties for lawbreaking businesses, might go a long way toward
stemming the flow.
But what about the 11-million-plus undocumented immigrants already
here? A vast majority have led peaceful lives and established deep roots in
our communities. Their sudden deportation would not represent the
compassionate America that many of us envision.
Perhaps it’s time for some benign neglect. Many will eventually qualify for
visas because they have married American citizens or have native-born
children. Rather than fight over a politically impossible amnesty, we could
accelerate the granting of family-preference visas to that population.
We will also need to decide how many immigrants to admit. Economists
seldom confess their ignorance, but we truly have no clue about what that
number should be. About one million legal immigrants a year entered the
country in the past two decades. The political climate suggests that many
Americans view that number as too high. History shows that when voters
get fed up with immigration, there is no reluctance to cut off the flow
altogether. Back in the 1990s, Barbara Jordan’s immigration commission
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMywOal05s0) recommended an
annual target of about 550,000 immigrants. Such a cut would be
significant, but it may be preferable to the alternative, which, in this
political climate, could mean shutting off the flow.
Finally, we need to choose between highly skilled and less-skilled
applicants. High-skill immigrants, who pay higher taxes and receive fewer
services and can potentially expand the frontier of knowledge, are more
profitable for us. But giving an opportunity to the huddled masses is part
of what makes our country exceptional.
Regardless of the allocation, employers should not walk away with all the
gains, and workers should not suffer all the losses. We need to ensure a
more equitable sharing of the gains and losses among the American
No matter where one stands in the ideological divide, President Trump has
already answered the fundamental question guiding the design of a more
rational policy. In his speech at the Republican National Convention, he
described (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/full-transcript-donaldtrump-nomination-acceptance-speech-at-rnc-225974) how he would pick
among the available choices: “We are going to be considerate and
compassionate to everyone,” he said. “But my greatest compassion will be
for our own struggling citizens.”
He added, “We are going to have an immigration system that works, but
one that works for the American people.”
Many of my colleagues in the academic community — and many of the
elite opinion-makers in the news media — recoil when they hear that
immigration should serve the interests of Americans. Their reaction is to
label such thinking as racist and xenophobic, and to marginalize anyone
But those accusations of racism reflect their effort to avoid a serious
discussion of the trade-offs. The coming debate would be far more honest
and politically transparent if we demanded a simple answer from those
who disagree with “America First” proposals: Who are you rooting for?
George Borjas (https://gborjas.org/) is a professor of economics and social policy at the
Harvard Kennedy School and the author of, most recently, “We Wanted Workers
(http://books.wwnorton.com/books/We-Wanted-Workers/): Unraveling the Immigration
A version of this article appears in print on February 26, 2017, on Page A21 of the New York edition with the headline:
The Immigration Debate We Need. Order Reprints (http://www.nytreprints.com/) | Today’s Paper
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“THEY SAY I SAY”
The Moves That Matter
in Academic Writing
both of the University of Illinois at Chicago
w. w. norton & company
new york | london
Demystifying Academic Conversation
Experienced writing instructors have long recognized
that writing well means entering into conversation with others.
Academic writing in particular calls upon writers not simply to
express their own ideas, but to do so as a response to what others
have said. The first-year writing program at our own university,
according to its mission statement, asks “students to participate in ongoing conversations about vitally important academic
and public issues.” A similar statement by another program
holds that “intellectual writing is almost always composed in
response to others’ texts.” These statements echo the ideas
of rhetorical theorists like Kenneth Burke, Mikhail Bakhtin,
and Wayne Booth as well as recent composition scholars like
David Bartholomae, John Bean, Patricia Bizzell, Irene Clark,
Greg Colomb, Lisa Ede, Peter Elbow, Joseph Harris, Andrea
Lunsford, Elaine Maimon, Gary Olson, Mike Rose, John Swales
and Christine Feak, Tilly Warnock, and others who argue that
writing well means engaging the voices of others and letting
them in turn engage us.
Yet despite this growing consensus that writing is a social,
conversational act, helping student writers actually participate in these conversations remains a formidable challenge.
This book aims to meet that challenge. Its goal is to demystify academic writing by isolating its basic moves, explaining
them clearly, and representing them in the form of templates.
PR E FAC E
In this way, we hope to help students become active participants in the important conversations of the academic world
and the wider public sphere.
Shows that writing well means entering a conversation, summarizing others (“they say”) to set up one’s own argument
Demystifies academic writing, showing students “the moves
that matter” in language they can readily apply.
Provides user-friendly templates to help writers make those
moves in their own writing.
Shows that reading is a way of entering a conversation—not just
of passively absorbing information but of understanding and
actively entering dialogues and debates.
how this book came to be
The original idea for this book grew out of our shared interest in democratizing academic culture. First, it grew out of
arguments that Gerald Graff has been making throughout his
career that schools and colleges need to invite students into
the conversations and debates that surround them. More specifically, it is a practical, hands-on companion to his recent
book Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the
Mind, in which he looks at academic conversations from the
perspective of those who find them mysterious and proposes
ways in which such mystification can be overcome. Second,
Demystifying Academic Conversation
this book grew out of writing templates that Cathy Birkenstein
developed in the 1990s for use in writing and literature courses
she was teaching. Many students, she found, could readily grasp
what it meant to support a thesis with evidence, to entertain
a counterargument, to identify a textual contradiction, and
ultimately to summarize and respond to challenging arguments,
but they often had trouble putting these concepts into practice
in their own writing. When Cathy sketched out templates on
the board, however, giving her students some of the language
and patterns that these sophisticated moves require, their
writing—and even their quality of thought—significantly
This book began, then, when we put our ideas together and
realized that these templates might have the potential to open
up and clarify academic conversation. We proceeded from the
premise that all writers rely on certain stock formulas that they
themselves didn’t invent—and that many of these formulas
are so commonly used that they can be represented in model
templates that students can use to structure and even generate
what they want to say.
As we developed a working draft of this book, we began using
it in first-year writing courses that we teach at UIC. In classroom exercises and writing assignments, we found that students
who otherwise struggled to organize their thoughts, or even to
think of something to say, did much better when we provided
them with templates like the following.
j In discussions of
, a controversial issue is whether
. While some argue that
j This is not to say that
, others contend
PR E FAC E
One virtue of such templates, we found, is that they focus
writers’ attention not just on what is being said, but on the
forms that structure what is being said. In other words, they
make students more conscious of the rhetorical patterns that
are key to academic success but often pass under the classroom
the centrality of “they say / i say”
The central rhetorical move that we focus on in this book is the
“they say / I say” template that gives our book its title. In our
view, this template represents the deep, underlying structure,
the internal DNA as it were, of all effective argument. Effective
persuasive writers do more than make well-supported claims
(“I say”); they also map those claims relative to the claims of
others (“they say”).
Here, for example, the “they say / I say” pattern structures
a passage from an essay by the media and technology critic
For decades, we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily toward lowest-commondenominator standards, presumably because the “masses” want
dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies try to give the
masses what they want. But . . . the exact opposite is happening:
the culture is getting more cognitively demanding, not less.
Steven Johnson, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter”
In generating his own argument from something “they say,”
Johnson suggests why he needs to say what he is saying: to
correct a popular misconception.
Demystifying Academic Conversation
Even when writers do not explicitly identify the views they
are responding to, as Johnson does, an implicit “they say” can
often be discerned, as in the following passage by Zora Neale
I remember the day I became colored.
Zora Neale Hurston, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”
In order to grasp Hurston’s point here, we need to be able to
reconstruct the implicit view she is responding to and questioning: that racial identity is an innate quality we are simply born
with. On the contrary, Hurston suggests, our race is imposed
on us by society—something we “become” by virtue of how
we are treated.
As these examples suggest, the “they say / I say” model can
improve not just student writing, but student reading comprehension as well. Since reading and writing are deeply reciprocal activities, students who learn to make the rhetorical moves
represented by the templates in this book figure to become more
adept at identifying these same moves in the texts they read. And
if we are right that effective arguments are always in dialogue
with other arguments, then it follows that in order to understand
the types of challeng …
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