Contrary to the WSJ, Immigrants Take U.S. Jobs

“Contrary to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and other Republicans who’ve adopted AFL-CIO economics, immigrants do not steal American jobs. The U.S. has a labor shortage in the industries that immigrants are most likely to fill. . . .  At the low-wage end of the economy, jobs go begging in agriculture, hospitality and in some places. At the high end, the U.S. needs more engineers, software designers, biologists and so much more.” – The Wall Street Journal 7/2/14

Fact Check: Contrary to the Journal’s editorial claim, mass immigration is taking jobs from American workers and lowering their wages as well. According to Census Bureau statistics, native-born Americans are the majority of workers in nearly every job category. Therefore, when immigrants enter those fields they are competing with those native-born citizens. In recent years there has been an unmistakable trend of foreigners displacing Americans in the workforce. To say we have a labor shortage is absurd when we have 19 million Americans who cannot find a full time job.

Decently paying jobs in particular are becoming harder to find, as immigration depresses wages for immigrants and native-born Americans alike. Since 2008, according to the United States Conference of Mayors, wages on average have declined 23 percent.

The Journal’s claim that concern about American jobs is “AFL-CIO economics” is almost comical. Long ago the AFL-CIO stood for protecting American jobs for American workers. But nowadays that voice of organized labor is as much for mass immigration as the Journal. The union bosses view immigrants as new union recruits—and dues payers to enhance their salaries.

If employers for low-wage jobs want more job applicants, they should consider paying higher wages, and make the jobs worthwhile to unemployed Americans. In occupations like agriculture—where a majority of workers are legal and illegal immigrants—they might consider the possibilities of mechanization, which in the long-run would prove much more efficient and socially beneficial than the present arrangement.

As for the claim that we don’t have enough engineers, software designers, etc., strong evidence demonstrates that this simply isn’t true. To cite just one example, if there is a shortage of U.S. engineers, why are 1.5 million Americans with engineering degrees either unemployed or working in other fields? In all too many cases, U.S. tech companies prefer foreign workers on temporary visas because they are cheaper and more exploitable than Americans.

The editorial writers of the Journal don’t understand what is happening, probably because they enjoy well-paying employment which isolates them from the workforce realities most Americans now face. Perhaps they would change their minds if the Journal’s managers, practicing what those writers preach, decided to hire cheaper foreigners to write the editorials.



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