The Morality of Displacing American Workers

By Rob Sanchez
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 17, Number 3 (Spring 2007)
Issue theme: "The decline of industrial civilization"

Whohas the ethical right to balance the supply of labor with the demand for jobs? The United States government? Other nations? Employers? Or immigrants looking for jobs?

Illegal aliens comprise about 50 percent of the annual immigration into the U.S. As they enter the labor market minorities and unskilled workers at the bottom end of the pay scale are displaced from the labor force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black adults suffer twice the unemployment rate of whites, while black teens register 35 percent.

Increased joblessness in the U.S. is directly attributable to the large influxes of immigrants who compete for jobs. A study by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that immigrants are hired for a disproportionate 66 percent of U.S. jobs, yet they are only 15 percent of the adult labor force.

Civil strife in France serves as a warning of how mass immigration and a lack of assimilation coincides with high unemployment rates amongst teens. Riots broke out throughout France when unemployment rates approached 20 percent. France’s mistake of allowing large-scale immigration of “guest workers” for cheap labor parallels the follies of current U.S. immigration policy.

Rising joblessness swelled in France because the labor market couldn’t absorb the immense influx of family members and children of the immigrant laborers. Destitute immigrants were shunned into squalid neighborhoods and only perfunctory efforts were made to assimilate them.

It’s only a matter of time before similar social unrest occurs in the United States. Unemployment rates of 35 percent are now far higher than the 20 percent that caused widespread riots in France. Indifference to the plight of needy Americans who lack meaningful employment may lead to far worse problems than France experienced.

For the most part legal immigrants compete for middle class jobs. As the available labor pool expands, wages drop. It’s the law of supply and demand. Tragically, middle class Americans displaced by legal immigrants are often forced to compete with illegal immigrants in a race to the bottom of the pay scale.

U.S. citizens cannot continue to lose jobs to immigrants at the current rates and expect to maintain their lifestyles. During 2000-2004 the number of unemployed Americans swelled by 2.3 million while almost the same number of immigrants gained employment. The U.S. economy has not created meaningful employment opportunities for both citizens and all others.

Pitting American workers against immigrants for jobs is morally reprehensible. Controlling immigration is not only the moral thing to do; it is mandated by our Constitution. Our government must constitutionally ensure the financial security of its citizens and protect our borders from invasion. Regulating immigration to serve the needs of our most deserving citizens is the only ethical choice. 


About the author

Rob Sanchez is the author of the “Job Destruction Newsletter” at

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