I have read this piece with acute interest, given my overall interest in Immigration studies. I guess that at the present moment of the immigration debate there are polysemous views, and each seems to be based, especially those using econometric measures, to have adduced different conclusions. I am noting that there is no monolithic perspective regarding immigration scholarship, and no singular view looks as almost definitive as the perspective offered by Professor Ahiakpor. That, however, is not saying that his views lack merits. There are certain considerations and perspectives that arises from Professor Ahiakpor's perspective. The arguments I think the reverred professor attempts to make is not new, I guess G. Borjas and others have used similar constructs, in some sense. Yet, there are others that disagrees using the same metrics with the kind of conclusions Borjas reached, and some without going too much to assert the conclusion of Borjas for instance that latter immigrant stream (the post-1965 waves) have lesser skills than previous arrivals, seem to assert that such conclusion is a factor of Borjas' own historical trajectories.
Therefore, Professor Ahiakpor would do well to use census data or some metrics to drive home his points, rather than abstract and almost speculative arguments that befit more syllogistic approach than the complex field of immigration debates. Thus, results derived using the 5% PUMS would be significant in placing the entire discourse in proper perspective. The approach I see feels more like an argumentum ad hominem, that fervently works hard to discredit the person rather than the contents of the issue at stake. That again does not eclipse the fact that Professor Ahiakpor's perspective is cogent and have some salience.
Rather, than argue that the pasting was because foreign born operates on this USA-African dialogue, taking the opportunity of the posting to do what others have done with regards to issues of African immigration, such as John Arthur's Invisible Sojourners, Akpraku's and the author of Foreign Born and Silent Voices- the one Professor Michael Afolayan contributed and others- among emerging work, by offering an original perspective on issues affecting foreign born, especially those of African origins would be a vital contribution to immigration. I guess that sometimes, the issues of immigration are often too relativized and considered as only complex when it has to do with issues of acquiring immigration status, whereas, there is a whole body of complexity relative to scholarship and policy issues, Dr. Ahiakpor's insights are valuable and must be heard, but more appropriately in appreciable scholar vignettes.
Further, I think that one of the issues that has become clouded is actually what class of immigrants are we talking about? Why is the issues of wage earning so critical today than it was for past immigrant's waves, who in spite of discrimination and varying forms of stereotyping were able to quickly integrate within American society. Thus, we find in the literature how the Irish and Italians became white. But the ultimate question is, does market economy acutely define who gets what based on capitalist market economic need? Well, I guess that while market economy is noted to be a rational ethos, a lot of us forget that there is a whole lot of level of this sector that operates based upon irrationality. Such irrationality can be found in situations where race matters when employment decisions are made, when lower wages are paid to minorities and immigrants, and women, in comparison to native born white males (nothing against them) in the same position.
Therefore, while economic factors are often significant, I think it is a well known fact that economic determination alone does not often operate at the level that shapes wages and its differentials.