Stuart Anderson writes at Forbes about the rise in the number of foreign-born Major League Baseball players and why the public is comfortable with this phenomenon. And he compares it to other fields that require talented workers:



The number of foreign-born players in the major leagues has more than doubled since 1990. In the general economy, the number of jobs rises and falls based on factors that include consumer spending, population growth, capital investment, labor laws, and startup businesses. New entrants to the labor market can create and fill new jobs, rather than replace a current jobholder. In contrast, a fixed number of jobs exists on active major league rosters, with only 25 baseball players permitted per team or 750 players total in the major leagues.


Still, it is noteworthy one never hears complaints about "immigrants taking away jobs" from Americans in the major leagues. Baseball players consider the competition for roster spots to be fair, a meritocracy. And, as Tom Hanks once said, "There's no crying in baseball."


Increased competition from foreign-born players has not resulted in lower salaries for native ballplayers. Since 1990 average major league player salaries more than quadrupled (in nominal dollars) from $578,930 to $2.87 million in 2006, while the proportion of foreign-born players in the league increased from 10 percent to 23 percent, according to a 2006 analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy. A sustained or increased quality of play, to which foreign-born players have contributed, may have helped increase revenues, as major league ballpark attendance rose from 55 million to 75 million between 1990 and 2005.



The bottom line:



The next time someone complains about immigrants "taking jobs" from Americans, tell them to try playing major league baseball, where, unlike the rest of the economy, the number of jobs are fixed and limited, yet no one ever complains about immigrants.