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Earlier this week a friend of mine sent me this video. She wanted to illustrate how day laborers, and other migrant workers are willing to do jobs that Americans would not. The aim of the video was to illustrate that these folks are not stealing jobs away from Americans. Granted, the video shows Americans refusing the jobs being offered, and then goes on to show some day laborers that are willing to do the work. However, this is not a fair comparison, and it actually illustrates a major problem with employers, and not necessarily the folks refusing the work, or the day laborers who are accepting the work.
This brings me to the businesses that employ day laborers, and then pay them these ridiculous slave wages. Some time ago, I had a talk with an undocumented day laborer. A contractor had sent him over to my place. I figured that I would learn from him, and his experiences since he was working at my home. My chat with Juan only reinforced my belief that the fault lies at least partially, if not completely with the companies encouraging this, and not necessarily the individuals that many of us try to blame.
These companies want to make as much profit as they can. Part of that is reducing costs, expenses, etc. So they prefer the cheaper labor, and THEY outsource away jobs that Americans and or documented migrant workers could do if they were providing fair wages, and all the other benefits involved. This is how the argument can be made that they are taking American jobs.
See, you can’t blame the immigrants. They are trying to make money to take care of their family. They are just trying to survive. The fact that these companies exploit, and capitalize on their legal situation is a major issue. You have to agree that there needs to be some blame sent their way.
How can any reasonable human being blame the undocumented, or even documented day laborers for actually wanting to work? The blame lies with the greedy companies that are cheating the American people out of fair wages and legal work. It happens on a higher level too, what do you think outsourcing is? Same issue, fancier name. What about companies giving up their U.S registrations and moving their firms overseas? Same issue, enjoying the U.S benefits, while ducking our taxes.
Think about what I said the next time that you want to blame an immigrant for “stealing” our jobs. It’s not quite that simple.
(This originally appeared on Latino Rebels and can be seen here.)
Growing Up Bronx