As if working illegally is a legitimate reason to be in this country. Now being an unemployed illegal alien is reason enough to be here. Ugh! Go home and be unemployed in your own country. GuardDog

Day laborers feel foreclosure fallout
Wichita Eagle
2-15-08

GRATON, Calif. - The most desperate men park themselves on corners well before dawn, hoping for first dibs on jobs.

Most days, no one gets dibs - no one gets jobs.

Foreclosures are at record highs, home sales are at record lows and skittish consumers are cutting back on spending, all of which means contractors, construction crews and carpenters are no longer hiring. Neither are landscapers, cleaning services or homeowners.

Work, never a given for day laborers in the best of times, is almost nonexistent these days.

“These are the worst of times,” would-be worker Ramon De la Cruz said recently in Spanish, noting that he had worked only one day in the previous six.

De la Cruz came here from Tabasco, Mexico three years ago to earn money to provide for his daughter, now 5. Only a year ago, he could still make $500 a week.

But Graton (pop. 1,815), sits in western Sonoma County, which has been hit hard by the housing downturn. Home loan defaults nearly tripled from 2006 to 2007, while housing prices dropped by 22 percent, according to DataQuick, a real estate data firm.

De la Cruz and his friends at the Graton Day Labor Center, where seven out of 70 workers might nab work on what passes for a good day, are not sure what they will do. Some have tried moving to other states only to find that workers everywhere are reeling under the fallout from the nation’s housing woes.

Not since the weeks after Sept. 11, when the entire nation froze in shock, have day laborers been in a more precarious position, according to workers and their advocates.

The more than 100,000 day laborers looking for work on any given day - already among the poorest, most stigmatized workers in the country, and many of them here illegally - are finding themselves struggling as never before. Without the proper documents, their job options are limited to odd jobs for cash. Without those, many can barely feed themselves, let alone provide for their families, here or in their native countries.

And they’re facing more competition for the few jobs that are left. As companies in the housing and home improvement industries have cut back on salaried employees, many of those workers have joined the day labor pool.

As a result, advocates say, more day laborers are becoming homeless, more are taking risks for jobs that endanger their health or don’t pay and more are spending their days haunting street corners, where they are resented, even reviled.

“Our fear is that the economic downturn will create a perfect storm where day laborers will be scapegoated more than they already are,” said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “They’re already deemed symbols of a broken immigration system. What will happen next?”

In the last year, cities and states across the country have been stepping up efforts to drive away day laborers.

In Phoenix, for instance, the county sheriff began rounding up undocumented day laborers even before a state law took effect Jan. 1 punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants. In Oklahoma, a state law that took effect in November makes it a felony to transport, hire or shelter any one who lacks the documents proving legal status in this country.

Citizens who oppose illegal immigration are taking their own action. In Houston, members of U.S. Border Watch, a civilian border patrol group, scribble down license plate numbers at popular day labor hiring spots and report would-be employers to federal authorities.

Chris Simcox, founder and president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a Phoenix-based civil border patrol, said his group has been hearing from communities burdened by idle day laborers.

The laborers used to migrate for jobs, but with no work, they are staying in one spot and creating a nuisance, he said. “We hear complaints of public urination, littering and petty shoplifting,” Simcox said, echoing common gripes in cities that have passed ordinances to push the day laborers off their corners.

Most immigrants here illegally will try to ride out the economic downturn, their advocates say……

To read entire article click here.

4 Responses to “Unemployed Day Laborers Refuse To Go Home”
  1. melody says:

    I don’t like to see people go hungry, but really it makes it worse to offer them any free stuff even food. The only free thing they can be offered is a free deportation. As long as they can get anchor baby benefits, they are not going anywhere.

  2. Zorro says:

    Waaahhhh poor illegal aliens.. Hey I have an idea for Mr De La Cruz.. why don’t you go to CUBA or Venezuela or something and get the HELL out of our country!

  3. jo says:

    their gov’t tells them they have a right to be here, “our” gov’t tells them it is ok for them to be here, so why the hell should they go home. they will go back to mexico when they can no longer get anything here, obviously that time has not come yet. in this so called “downturn” many more people are using “illegals” to do those jobs that must be done. we are expected to believe that people are gonna call a union guy for 50plus an hour when they can hire an illegal for 15 dollars an hour. these day labors know they can go to the free food places if they need to here and get free medical care.where are they gonna go in mexico to get these things? alot of them have anchor babies here and WIC, foodstamps etc are benefits that they are not going to walk away from. we are just spinning our wheels demanding that they go home. Waaahhh poor american citizens losing all rights and entitlements hollering at the people who are getting benefits that the citizens can’t. kinda like hollering at the clouds to stop raining , same results, besides there is a green card in their near future, then they will have truly free access to both sides of the border and guarantees of benefits like ss that they and their families can collect for many years (even after their deaths, thanks to direct deposit). shock? why would anyone report the death of someone in another country and stop that check? hum………..

  4. scorpiokat says:

    Refuse to go home? Since when does someone who has committed a crime have the right to refuse anything. Commit a crime - go to jail - or go back where you came from. Are American citizens the only ones required to obey the law? There are still a great many of us who continue to believe in the rule of law and we will never give in. If you’re illegal get out of our country.

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