Jeremy Beck's picture


  by  Jeremy Beck

Now we are getting somewhere. Last week, I expressed hope that the New York Times' series on Disney workers who were forced to train their foreign replacements would lead to similar reporting on less-skilled American workers harmed by policies of mass immigration.

The New York Times hasn't come through yet but others have.

In an op-ed for the Washington Times, radio host Tammy Bruce challenges the conventional wisdom that says immigration has no negative impact on U.S. workers because foreign workers compliment (rather than compete with) U.S. workers.

"Immigration proponents, such as Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and President Obama, constantly assure Americans that legalizing 'undocumented workers' won't have any negative impact at all on the security of American jobs. After all, they tell us, illegal aliens only do the jobs Americans won't do.

"Just like how HB-1 visa holders are coming here to do the jobs Americans can't do. Which is technically true, I suppose. After all, you can't do your job when you've been fired and have been replaced by an unskilled foreigner you had to train."

Showing more trust in the abilities of American workers than most politicians and media pundits, Bruce writes "Considering the fact that a record 92 million Americans are out of the workforce, one would think employing our own 'best and brightest' might be a better place to start, let alone importing workers and condemning even more Americans to unending joblessness."

The New Jersey Star-Telegram also draws larger lessons from the Disney story as it looks close to home for examples of guest worker programs harming U.S. workers with more limited opportunities than your average IT worker:

Many of the Jersey Shore's big seasonal employers also abuse another "exchange" program to staff their boardwalk games with young cheap foreign workers, without having to pay many of the same taxes required for American teens.

These businesses use the same line, about how they can't find local workers.

Is it any wonder, when it works so well for the big guys like Disney? It's a small world, after all -- the new motto for outsourcing.

Neither Bruce nor the Star-Telegram argue that immigration is a zero-sum game with no dynamic economic impacts. What makes their commentary stand out is their willingness to admit that in the real world, not every IT worker who trains their replacement gets a job somewhere else within the company. Not every teenager, restaurant or construction worker who gets passed over for a job in favor of a foreign worker finds an equal or better position in management. Often, these displaced Americans simply move out of the labor market, and off the media's radar.

JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

Legal Immigration

Updated: Tue, Jun 23rd 2015 @ 1:15pm EDT

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