The belief that immigration would simply displace American workers relies on the assumption that employers would do nothing but replace a costlier domestic labor force with cheaper imports. But companies actually invest and expand to reap the higher profits that the new labor allows. This provides new opportunities for immigrants and domestic workers alike.
In other words, immigration can produce jobs for Americans, too. Restaurants are much less common in Norway than the United States because Norway lacks the cheap labor — making a dinner out in Oslo prohibitively expensive. In many New York restaurants, the American waiters and maitre d’ owe their jobs to the underpaid immigrants working illegally in the kitchen, whose low wages allow the restaurant to exist.
What’s more, immigration expands productivity. Highly skilled immigrant workers generate more productive innovations. And the influx of new workers of a variety of skills, high and low, would promote specialization.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
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