What's the Relationship Between Concern About Cheap Foreign Labor and Support for Immigration Reform?

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Thursday, 07 February 2013 05:41

The NYT told readers that a widely expressed concern about losing jobs to "cheap foreign labor .... does not bode well for political support for an amnesty program now being discussed in Washington." It's not clear that this would be the case. One of the factors that reduces the wages of undocumented workers is their legal status. Undocumented workers are likely to get lower pay because they risk deportation if they try to unionize or take other measures to increase their wages and improve their working conditions. If U.S. citizens want to reduce the competition from undocumented workers then they logically should support measures that change their legal status so that they are in a position to increase their wages.