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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

The stolen job myth

Immigrants aren’t taking jobs that ‘belong’ to Americans

If anyone ought to appreciate the power of immigration to stimulate employment, it is America’s energetic anti-immigration advocates, whose jobs wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the influx of immigrants they spend their days seeking to curtail.

Then again, appreciating anything about immigration — least of all the ironies of our endless debate on the subject — goes against the restrictionists’ grain. Fulminating about immigrants is one of America’s enduring pastimes, and it doesn’t leave a lot of room for wry humor. Or for logical consistency. Which helps explain why immigrants can be depicted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as indolent leeches who flock to the United States to go on welfare — and condemned on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for taking away jobs that would otherwise go to Americans.

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