By JLP | March 21, 2008
I was really surprised to find this article on MSN Money entitled Dirt Cheap Day Labor. It’s a two page article that educates and basically encourages regular Americans (as distinct from business owners) to hire illegal immigrants – or “undocumented workers.”
The article tells you where to find them: “In most cities of any size, there’s a ready pool of cheap labor available on short notice, congregating in parking lots near the local Home Depot or a similar store, or at high-traffic intersections.”
It tells you everybody is doing it: “The share of private homes hiring illegals goes up every year,” says Steven Camarota, the director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. About 12 million undocumented workers live in the U.S., 7 million of them working for companies or picking up odd jobs.
It assures you that you won’t get caught: “What are the chances of a homeowner being caught? ‘Virtually none at all,’ says San Diego attorney Jeff Isaac, who calls himself ‘a lawyer in bluejeans’ for his practical approach to the law.” … “Though it is illegal to hire an undocumented worker, the law is seldom enforced. And in the cases where it is, authorities focus on companies that hire many illegal immigrants.”
It warns of a few remote risks: “If you are planning to run for public office or have your eye set on a confirmable position, hiring an undocumented worker may be enough to wreck your career plans.” … “If a day laborer is injured on your property, he could sue you or seek to make a claim on your homeowners insurance policy.”
Then with the help of the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, it offers helpful tips and etiquette:
- “Learn some basic Spanish phrases,”
- “Know what you expect to pay” (about $10/hr in NYC and LA),
- “Expect to pay at the end of each workday even if the job lasts several days,”
- “Typically, homeowners provide lunch if a job is for all day,”
- “They may need your bathroom, regular breaks, or rides to and from their originating point or to a public bus stop”
- And you might not be able to locate the worker to complain or get a shoddy job fixed.
What do you think about this article? Despite your views on illegal immigration, do you think it’s appropriate for a major national media organization to blatantly condone illegal behavior (it’s illegal for the immigrants to be/work here AND for Americans to hire them)? Are you shocked, or not surprised at all to see this?
More from Meg at The World of Wealth