Immigrants: Liability of Asset? Innovative Research and Policy Implications


Carmon, N. (editor)  1993


The Challenge: Immigrants are moving in large numbers from the East to the West and from the South to the North, and the waves are expected to grow in the years to come. A common perception is that immigrants are a liability and not an asset to the absorbing society, a threat to the quality of life of the resident population. Can one assist immigrants become a positive force in economic development and contribute to the social enrichment of their target society? Can one reduce the conflict between oldtimers and newcomers? These are some of the challenging questions that are addressed by the workshop participants. The Workshop and its Goals: Invited experts from several countries, including USA, Australia, European countries and Israel, and from various disciplines, including urban planning, sociology, economics, political sciences and human geography, meet for two days of presentations and discussions, and one day of touring immigrant absorption enterprises in Israel. They work together to achieve the following goals: – present the accumulating knowledge in their disciplines regarding the absorption (or non-absorption) of immigrants in industrialized and developed societies. – analyze the implications for policy making directed to enhance cultural, social, political and evonomic integration, taking into consideration the well-being of the individual immigrants as well as the welfare of the absorbing society with its various groups of citizens. – develop an agenda for research that will strengthen the interface between immigration research and policy making, while considering the differences between the various countries.

Table of contents and introduction