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Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me this video [see below]. She wanted to illustrate how day laborers, and other immigrants are willing to do jobs that Americans would not. The aim of the video was to illustrate that these folks are not taking 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.
I know that you can simply say, “They are not supposed to be here.” However, the fact of the matter is that they are. That being said, the employers have to be held accountable for creating the demand for cheap labor. You can’t blame the day laborers for supplying it, after all we all have to eat.
American workers know what is legal, and what is not in terms of work and wages. We know that we have rights, and we are protected from employers abusing us. On the other side of that coin, the immigrants who are here illegally merely want to make some money, and no matter how crappy the pay is that they are making; it is still significantly better than they would make in their native homeland. It’s certainly better than the money they would make simply not working. Being aware of that, how can you blame either of those two groups for doing what they did in this video?
Which brings me to the businesses that employ day laborers, and pay them these ridiculous wages. Some time ago, I had a talk with a day laborer. I didn’t know it at the time, but as he was wrapping up his work, I learned that he is employed by someone who does not check for legal documentation. He was here illegally. Now, before you go on the attack and give me a hard time, I didn’t know this until the very end, and I hadn’t hired him. A contractor sent him over, but that is beside the point. I figured that I would learn from him, and his experiences since he was already working at my place. My chat with him only reinforced my belief that the fault lies at least partially, if not completely with the companies encouraging this, and not necessarily the individuals.
These companies want to make as much profit as they can. Part of that is reducing costs, expenses, etc. So they prefer the cheap labor, and THEY give away jobs that Americans 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 legality of their being here is not the point I am making, that is a whole other topic. The fact that these companies exploit, and capitalize on the 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 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 crap, fancier name.
Think about that the next time that you want to blame an immigrant for “stealing” our jobs. It’s not quite that simple.
Growing Up Bronx