Employers Prefer Foreign Workers over Americans

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 11

By Mark Krikorian and Amy Wax on July 8, 2021

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Listen to "Employers Prefer Foreign Workers over Americans" on Spreaker.


Much academic work has been published on U.S. employer preference for hiring foreign low-skill labor over American workers, particularly black American workers. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Amy Wax, the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, highlights reasons why employers might seek to hire foreign nationals and the implications for American workers and society. Wax and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and host of the podcast, explore the impact of the government permitting a constant flow of low-skill immigration, especially the harm done to low-skill American workers, who are less able to develop skills or support a family and may drop out of the workforce all together.

What would be the long-term implications for our country if immigration of unskilled foreign workers were reduced and policies putting Americans back to work were prioritized?

In his Closing Commentary, Krikorian addresses the U.S. asylum system and the need for reform. He uses as an example of abuse the fraudulent claims for asylum by Haitians due to problems in Haiti, despite their having lived and worked for years in Brazil and Chile.

Related Reports

Debating Immigration Restriction: The Case for Low and Slow

No Americans Need Apply

Immigrants Replace Low-Skill Natives in the Workforce

Low-Skill Immigration: A Case Study for Restriction

There Are No Jobs Americans Won’t Do

A United Nation of Mass Immigration


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".