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American Labor Monopsony: Immigration

So strange how we never complain about immigrants stealing jobs from doctors, dentists, or CEOs. But we’re really upset with the berry pickers.

5 min readJan 28, 2022


I know someone who professes to be a conservative. He complains often about “illegal immigrants stealing our jobs”. I guess I have to wonder, how does an illegal immigrant steal a job? They don’t know the language as well as we do, they don’t know the people as we do, they have none of the advantages citizens have in America, yet somehow, they magically steal our jobs.

I’ve never seen a story about a courageous white American working in the fields picking strawberries. I don’t know anyone who picks berries for a living. They have tough brown skin from working in the sun all day. They don’t really seem to stay in one place because most agricultural workers are migrants. They often come from South America, a place where American foreign policy has been messing around for the last century. You know, “Domino Theory” stuff.

But still, we complain about foreigners “stealing our jobs”.

Then there are those immigrants at the top. I’ve noticed over the last decade how people from India have been coming to America to run Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Mastercard, and IBM. No one complains about them stealing our jobs. Sure, they’re making multiple millions per year, and they’re competing with us. But no one complains about them. Oh, wait. They came here legally. They have wealthy families that can afford the legal counsel to get them through the border.

I don’t see foreigners at my doctor’s office. I don't see foreigners at my dentist’s office. I don’t see them in law firms. I don’t see them in my manager’s office. In my life, most of the foreigners I see run a small mom-and-pop shop. Yes, they’re here legally, but they must have had friends and families to help them get through the gauntlet in a process called chain migration.

Still, the main complaint I hear from the right is that foreigners come here, get a fake social security number, then steal a job. So, employers aren’t smart enough to check for a valid SSN? God knows we’ve set up the infrastructure for employers to check SSNs. This isn’t kindergarten…