(June 2010) Immigration in the United States is a debated and much-researched topic. What are the social and economic effects of immigration on the United States? On the one hand, immigration leads to displacement of jobs. On the other hand, immigrants create economic demand and growth. In this video, PRB president Bill Butz talks with Charles Hirschman, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, about how immigration becomes a controversial issue in times of economic difficulty, the changing nature of immigrant communities and assimilation among immigrants and their children, the impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy, and the role of immigrants in the creation of American identity.

Charles Hirschman is Boeing International Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. He taught at Duke University from 1972 to 1981, at Cornell University from 1981 to 1987, and has been at the University of Washington since 1987. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on demography, immigration and ethnicity, and Southeast Asia, Hirschman conducts research on immigration and ethnicity in United States and on social change in Southeast Asia.