Prof. James Witte on Immigration Disinformation

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Misinformation and disinformation about immigration in the U.S. is ubiquitous. For Prof. James Witte, director of the Institute for Immigration Research, getting the facts about U.S. immigration out to the public is a challenge. The Institute for Immigration Research is a joint venture between George Mason University and The Immigrant Learning Center of Malden, Massachusetts, the co-producer of this podcast. One of the goals of the Institute’s work is to position the immigration data, research and stories within a framework of inclusiveness, so Americans will understand that they are not disconnected from immigration. Rather, we all, U.S.-born and foreign-born, help fuel this country’s economy, enrich its culture, and make it the powerhouse that it is.  Prof. Witte also helps explain the resistance to immigrants and facts about them, and how we can counter that, in this week’s JobMakers. 

James Witte is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of the Institute for Immigration Research (IIR). Witte, who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991, has been a professor at Clemson University and Northwestern University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carolina Population Center and a lecturer in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Witte has written numerous articles that have appeared in journals such as The European Sociological ReviewPopulation and Development Review and Sociological Methods and Research.  He has also published three books, Labor Force Integration and Marital Choice, the Internet and Social Inequality and The Normal Bar.  The Normal Bar, co-authored with Chrisanna Northrup and Pepper Schwartz, was released in 2013 and made the New York Times bestseller list. Dr. Witte came to Mason in the fall of 2009 to take over leadership of CSSR.  Since then CSSR has grown in the amount and range of funded research it conducts. Major projects have included the privately funded Institute for Immigration Research, the National Science Foundation funded Digital Archive Project, and the University Partnership with the University of Karachi funded by the U.S. State Department.

Get new episodes of JobMakers in your inbox!

Recent episodes:

David Dyssegaard Kallick on the Facts about Immigration

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with David Dyssegaard Kallick, Deputy Director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank Fiscal Policy Institute and Assistant Visiting Professor at the Pratt Institute, on the impact of immigrants in local and national settings.

Ely Kaplansky Goes from Immigrant to Inc. 5000 Insurance Entrepreneur

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Ely Kaplansky, President & CEO of Kaplansky Insurance. Since 1974, Ely has created hundreds of jobs in Massachusetts and beyond, with 85 employees in 15 offices across the state today, and he has grown his business during the pandemic, such that Kaplansky Insurance was named to Inc. magazine’s "5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America" list. His success fulfilled the dreams of his parents when they moved from Israel to America in 1955, with just the clothes on their backs and an aunt to take them in. Their journey began in the concentration camps of Germany, and Ely’s story is all about the opportunity and freedom America offers.

Semyon Dukach on the High Value of Immigrants for the U.S. Economy

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Russian-born entrepreneur Semyon Dukach about the high value of immigrants to the U.S. Dukach started a seed stage fund for immigrant tech founders, One Way Ventures, in response to the early restrictive moves of the Trump administration, particularly the Muslim ban. 

Jo Napolitano on the Inspiring Stories of Immigrant Children

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Jo Napolitano, journalist, former Spencer Fellow at Columbia University, and author of the new book, The School I Deserve: Six Young Refugees and Their Fight for Equality in America, about the enterprising spirit of immigrants and refugees across the nation and at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Umesh Bhuju Seeks a Fair Deal for Immigrants, Farmers & the Environment

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Umesh Bhuju, owner of Zumi’s Espresso in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about how a business model based on selling nothing but fair-trade products can thrive in a world driven by profit. He describes his early experiences in his homeland of Nepal, where he witnessed child labor, and how that has shaped his pursuit of the American dream.

Dr. Babak Movassaghi on Winning in Football & Healthcare Innovation

/
This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Babak Movassaghi, founder of InfiniteMD (acquired last summer by ConsumerMedical), which connects patients with top U.S. medical professionals through second-opinion video consultations, guiding patients to better care. When the world shut down due to COVID-19, Dr. Movassaghi's company was already prepared to serve patients via telehealth. In this episode, they discuss his fascinating pivot from physics and professional football in Germany, to healthcare and innovation here in the U.S., an extension of his ability to navigate multiple identities as an Iranian-German living the American Dream.

Jitka Borowick on Starting a Small Business during COVID

/
This week on JobMakers, Guest Host Jo Napolitano talks with Jitka Borowick, Founder & CEO of Cleangreen, a cleaning service committed to environmentally-friendly practices, and Nove Yoga, launched during COVID. Jitka grew up under communism in the Czech Republic. Determined to learn English, she made her way to the U.S., initially with plans to stay for only one year - but ended up making it her home. Jitka shares the difficulties of learning another language and culture, her pathway to entrepreneurship, her courageous decision to open a new business during a pandemic, and how her companies have successfully adapted to the challenges so many small businesses have encountered over the past year.

Josh Feast Answers the Call with AI

This week on JobMakers, Guest Host Jo Napolitano talks with Josh Feast, the CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito, a Boston-based software company that deploys Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help employers in a wide variety of industries improve their customer service call centers. They discuss the many applications of Artificial Intelligence, how it helps provide emotional intelligence to augment management practices at large organizations, and how to address some of the concerns about privacy and bias that have been raised around its use.

Mahmud Jafri Builds on a Pakistani Legacy in America

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mahmud Jafri, who built on a legacy started by his grandfather and began importing hand-knitted rugs from his native Pakistan, creating opportunities especially for women who traditionally couldn’t work outside the home. Today, he has three Dover Rug & Home stores across Massachusetts, including the Back Bay.

Larry O’Toole on Workplace Culture & Immigration Policy

On this week's episode of JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks to Larry O’Toole, founder of the multi-state Gentle Giant Moving Company that started in 1980 right here in the Boston area. They discuss Mr. O'Toole's journey at a young age from Ireland to Brookline, Mass., the challenges of being uprooted, and the ability to thrive despite barriers such as skills gaps, that many immigrants face.

Amar Sawhney on Sikhs, STEM & COVID

On this week's episode of JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks to Dr. Amar Sawhney about his journey from India to Boston, and how he is using his chemical engineering background to save lives through remarkable local therapy innovations. To date, he has founded eight companies accounting for 4,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in revenue.

Max Faingezicht on the Skills Gap & the Future of Work

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Max Faingezicht, an immigrant who founded ThriveHive, a marketing software company for small businesses, and Telescoped, which uses remote software engineering to connect Latin American engineers with U.S. companies in need of their skills. The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Boston and Cambridge have allowed Max to achieve dreams he didn’t even know he had when he arrived. In this episode, he shares his fascinating immigration story, as well as his ideas on where workers go next.