Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right

PublicAffairs 2006; paperback 2007 Order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right

We are essentially a nation of people who once belonged elsewhere, yet have long been deeply ambivalent about this part of our history. After World War I, the fear of the stranger overwhelmed America’s confidence in our ability to create one nation out of many peoples. We slammed the door shut, only to realize our error and re-open it four decades later. Today, a record-high foreign-born population, global instability, and economic uncertainty have once again pushed America to a tipping point in our attitudes not only toward immigration but toward our role in the world—and the stakes have risen dramatically. Our economy depends more than ever on immigrants, not only for stereotypical low-skilled jobs, but much more so for maintaining our technological edge and promoting American products and services abroad. So far, America has reaped the lion’s share of the gains of globalization. Yet for the first time ever, the world’s best and brightest no longer see this country as the only destination of choice. In Lockout, Michele Wucker documents the mistakes that led to our predicament today, and clarifies why it would be a catastrophic error of judgment, as well as a demonstration of a colossal lack of self-knowledge, if America attempted to turn its back on rest of the world and in so doing on the best of itself.



“A welcome contribution at a critical time.”  —New York Post

“Forcefully argued and informative… both correct and important” —Washington Post Bookworld (A “Best Nonfiction of 2006” Selection)

“Impressive…. never falls victim to the anvil-like lack of subtlety that characterizes much of the public discourse on the subject” —Miami Herald

“A wonderfully even-handed piece of scholarship, and a smoothly written work. Wucker cleanly balances anecdote and statistics to compare the mythology of immigration to reality. As an immigrant who has refused the melting pot, I found it refreshing to find a writer who understands how important it is, if you love this country, to keep it open and inclusive of others.”
— Shauna Singh Baldwin, award-winning author of What the Body Remembers, English Lessons and Other Stories, and The Tiger Claw

LOCKOUT has been cited as evidence in Congressional testimony