Why Are We Importing Workers Who will be Replaced by Robots?

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The future American worker is more likely to look like R2D2 than you. And the ones that do look like you are going to require specialized skills to make it in the not-to-distant future. It’s a trend that is already well underway, but according to a new report by Forrester Research, the pace of obsolescence for many human workers in the United States is likely to accelerate dramatically.

The Forrester Research study indicates that automation and robotics will wipe out about 25 million jobs in the United States by 2027. The same trend is projected to create about 15 million new jobs over that time period, but that’s still a net loss of 10 million jobs, or about 7 percent of the current U.S. labor force. It is also unlikely that very many of the 25 million human workers whose jobs are made obsolete by technology will fill many of the 15 million new jobs that are created by this phenomenon.

Few people dispute these trends; they are already patently evident to everyone. And yet, despite the fact that we are already moving in that direction at very rapid pace, our political system stubbornly clings to an immigration policy that is more suited to 1927 than to 2027.

In the face of evidence that our economy will require fewer workers, not more, and that the workers we will need will require specialized skills, the United States continues to admit immigrants at near record levels. Not only is immigration vastly expanding the size of our labor force at a time when the need for workers is contracting, our current policies pay very little attention to whether the immigrants we admit are likely to be the people who will soon be replaced by robots, or the people who can build and program those robots.

Even more remarkably, businesses of all kinds, including the ones most likely to scrap 25 million human workers over the next decade, continue to claim they face labor shortages and demand access to more foreign workers…and get away with it! Just this week, congressional leaders from both parties and the Trump administration caved in to demands by the business lobby and vastly expanded the visas allocated to low and unskilled guest workers.

As we find ourselves on the cusp of (even more) rapid and significant economic change our immigration policy is in a dangerous state of denial.

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About Author

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Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

23 Comments

  1. avatar

    Our Government is out of control. Trump has caved in and failed the American people he needs to be kicked out of office. Paul Ryan, also needs to be kicked out, McCain, Lindsey G., Mitch M. Still Obama needs to be jailed for life as he is an illegal, imposter, a con artist, tyrant, converted America into his personal bank account, and play ground. Obama caved in to our enemies giving them America as their gift. The United Nations is now in control of the internet, slowly our enemies are creeping in to take over our country, that’s how communists take over a country. When we had the Korean war ships off the coast of California like three weeks back did our Government tell us about it. There was even a submarine from Canada?

    • avatar

      How about you mAry?….how about we put you in jail instead since you are the reason they are n were in power. …you voted for them…you are pathetic. Learn in your life to be accountable….

  2. avatar
    soldierboys on

    Build the wall and keep them out! Think it will cost the US too much? We have something like 50 BILLION dollars of drug king pin Chapo’s money, USE IT!!!

    • avatar

      Oh no you have to do much better than that. My husband worked in IT, during his prime years he was being pay $41 per hour, I am thankful he is in full retirement. $10 per hour they are using these foreigner to drive wages in this area down. A BS degree in the US will cost you $60k how do they expect you to pay this off at $10 per hour?

    • avatar
      cynthia curran on

      California does. They are still being employed in the service sector. Granted, the very liberal areas like the Bay Area force all the wages between 11.50 go 14 an hour. They tend to have less illegal immigrants because wages are high even though they want them to stay, the illegal immigrants when they commit crimes.

  3. avatar

    60 Minutes did a report on this a couple weeks back. The libertarian “more the merrier” theory of immigration went out with buggy whips and high button shoes. Not to mention, importing millions of low skill, low education workers who will make low wages their entire lives is not a positive, not while making them eligible for all the programs for low income workers. A lot of them will pay zero income taxes but will still be eligible for the earned income tax credit of over 5 thousand dollars. That is a credit not a deduction, so they get it even if they pay nothing.

    • avatar

      Leland you are mess you have no idea nor grasp and confuse the gradient details of immigration…

        • avatar

          The H1B visas is not immigration 100%, importing people their entire lives low level skills….you generalize everything and is a big mess…….

          BTW “Shanghai (AFP) – The sister of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner urged wealthy Chinese Sunday to buy stakes in real estate through a controversial programme that offers US residency in exchange for investment.

          Nicole Kushner Meyer was in Beijing Saturday and in Shanghai Sunday, seeking more than $150 million in investment in a luxury apartment complex project in New Jersey.

          Jared Kushner, 36, is both a senior adviser and the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump with far-reaching influence over domestic and foreign policy. He stepped down from the family company in January to serve in the administration.?

          Congratulations Leland this is what your vote is doing…..

          • avatar

            You still did not address anything I said. Take the earned income tax credit that goes to low income workers, which frequently immigrants are. How is it a positive for the country when they can get a check for up to 5 thousand dollars while not paying a dime in income tax. Tell me why that’s good.

          • avatar

            I am not familiar with that but if not fair and if then, it should be scrutinized like I said the immigration situation is a complex one…otherwise you nor I should be in this land,

            Leland the answer is your vote, tell that to this administration now all problems and solutions belong to them ….. like I said Congratulations ……

          • avatar

            So if you’re “not familiar” with the earned income tax credit, then why are you telling me I’m wrong. Maybe spend more time learning instead of trolling.

          • avatar

            Leland why the insults again?,,,let me see you must be at least 50+ years old, ignorant and illiterate…..

  4. avatar

    Good Point

    I Heard by 2030 almost all our jobs could be replaced with AI and automation machinery…even doctors.

    What good is a degree? What good are foreign workers?

    We need a 3-4 day workweek with full pay and no immigration…..the future needs depopulation.

    • avatar

      softwarengineer see above what your cousins is doing to this land…exactly the same thing you are against….but wait I forgot….you are in love….!!!