Giovanni Peri, professor of economics at the University of California, Davis, discusses the economics of immigration


Immigration is one of the most complex and emotional issues of our times. The subject’s breadth and nuance can be difficult to synthesize in daily news reports. Journalistic coverage often focuses on an individual, a controversy, or the political calculations behind Washington's immigration policy debates.

This website serves as a resource for journalists looking for better ways to tell this story. It features videotaped talks as well as reports and research papers discussed at an intensive training workshop on immigration, the economy and U.S. law hosted by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University October 24-26, 2013.

The resources you will find here include leading economists explaining research on how immigration affects the economy—and giving their different interpretations of these findings. Marilyn Geewax, business editor at NPR and a ’95 Nieman Fellow, explains how she handles spin in the ongoing debate about immigration and the economy.

Other sessions feature on-the-ground observations by an immigration judge, a sheriff, and an immigration lawyer and advocate about enforcement of immigration law.

Laura Wides-Muñoz, NF ’13, reporter for The Associated Press
The workshop convened a diverse group of experienced journalists who cover economics, the courts and immigration, resulting in discussions rich in perspectives from around the nation. One of the journalists, Laura Wides-Muñoz, has covered immigration and Hispanic affairs for the Associated Press and was instrumental in planning the training workshop as an outgrowth of her studies at Harvard while a Nieman Fellow during 2013.

This website also provides video of hands-on sessions on accessing, analyzing and visualizing large immigration data sets, such as those from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the resource section, you will find economic research papers and other reports that were discussed or recommended after this workshop. This section further includes step-by-step tutorials from some of the journalism trainers on topics such as data mining or data visualization.

We hope this resource is useful to you.

Please e-mail with comments and recommendations.

All photos on this site by Lisa Abitbol

Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs that convene scholars and experts. More than 1,400 accomplished and promising journalists from 92 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a quarterly print and online magazine that explores contemporary challenges and opportunities in journalism; the Nieman Journalism Lab, a website that reports on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital media age; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.

Supported by

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Through its migration grantmaking, the MacArthur Foundation seeks to improve conditions for vulnerable migrants, while laying the groundwork for fundamental improvements in migration policies and practices at the national, regional, and global levels over the longer term. The Foundation’s approach places emphasis on U.S. immigration policy with a focus on the economic and fiscal impacts of immigration in the United States, as well as migration-related issues in the regional migration corridor of Central America, Mexico, and the U.S., including efforts to improve access to justice and services for migrants. The Foundation also supports radio and film documentaries as an important tool for raising awareness of the issues migrants face and opportunities to improve migration law, policies, and practices. More information is available at