Hillary’s ‘zombie theory’ of immigration

Greg Ip of The Wall Street Journal had a provocative piece in the paper last week in which he debunks the myth — as myth it surely is — that economic considerations drive most of the opposition to the country’s immigration policies. The current backlash against immigration, suggests Mr. Ip, “has less to do with jobs and wages and more to do with concerns about national identity and control of borders.”

In other words, it’s mostly about cultural sensibilities — or, as Mr. Ip puts it, “worries about ‘social, cultural, and linguistic cohesion.’ ” He quotes two academics — Stanford’s Jens Hainmueller and the University of Pennsylvania’s Daniel Hopkins — as saying there is little evidence of a link between economic circumstances and anti-immigration attitudes. The professors call this a “zombie theory.”

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