Tim Kane’s The Immigrant Superpower: How Brains, Brawn, and Bravery Make America Stronger contains an almost-erudite and almost-objective case for expanded immigration, vitiated by two weaknesses. The first is the author’s faith in time-series analysis of dodgy data. The second is what might be called agenda creep: after declaring “it’s time to make total GDP growth the main point in the national debate on immigration,” Kane proposes instead to make immigration an instrument of foreign policy and human rights promotion. That sort of bait-and-switch understandably makes Americans leery of even the most reasonable-sounding immigration reform. They don’t think their leaders have told them the whole story. Kane validates such suspicions.

A visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution specializing in economic growth, immigration, and national security, Kane claims to prove “a positive relationship between states’ GDP growth and the changing immigrant shares of the workforce.” But no one knows the immigrant share of the workforce. In 2018 Yale University researchers estimated that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. was about 22.1 million, double the standard estimate. That’s an astonishing number, equal to the total number of legal migrants from 1996 to 2019. Absent reliable statistics we cannot know immigration’s current economic

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