Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably taken part in the immigration ban debate that's currently affecting millions of American families. Along with the preposterous, xenophobic statement that all immigrants are "terrorists" is another "alternative fact": Immigrants are stealing American jobs.
When President Donald Trump was still running for office in March 2016, he stated what would be just one of many "alternative facts" propagated by his administration. He said, “Throughout history, at the center of any thriving country has been a thriving manufacturing sector. But under decades of failed leadership, the United States has gone from being the globe’s manufacturing powerhouse — the envy of the world — through a rapid deindustrialization.”
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing in America is on the rise. These days, American factories are producing twice as many goods as they did in the 1980s.
So, if we're producing more goods than ever before and immigrants aren't "stealing" our jobs, what is? The answer is automation.
Take, for instance, Ford Motor Company. In the 1920s, a Ford assembly line at their plant in Michigan looked something like this. Check out all those American workers!
By the early 2000s, however, assembly lines at Ford had been almost completely automated. As Fortune reported, nearly 88 percent of American jobs have been taken over by automation -- not immigrants.
These changes have devastating impacts on their communities. Here, former Michigan Senator Hansen Clarke views the once-thriving Detroit neighborhood where he grew up. After automation took over, homes were boarded up and left in ruins as their owners slipped into poverty.
Jobs that once depended on a large number of skilled workers...
...are now completed by robots as just a handful of workers stand watch. So why does the lie that immigrants are taking American jobs continue to spread?
Imagine how different things would be if each of these automated stations was replaced by a human being. Of course, it's also the American way to figure out fast, cost-effective ways of doing business, but at what price?
In Japan, artificial intelligence has made its way out of factories and into jobs in the service industry, with receptionists, waiters, and hotel clerks that are now automated. The Boston Consulting Group stated, "The real robotics revolution is ready to begin...The share of tasks that are performed by robots will rise from a global average of around 10 percent across all manufacturing industries to 25 percent in 2025."