Sunday, August 25, 2019
NPR considers the question whether undocumented workers, as President Trump says, take jobs from U.S. citizens.
AS NPR reports, across the country, immigrants who are in the country unlawfully often do manual, low-paying jobs, and employers say they have no choice but to rely on them. At the same time, the Trump administration has vowed to ramp up workplace raids targeting this shadow workforce.
A few weeks ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided seven chicken processing plants in Mississippi. Agents rounded up 680 workers in one of the largest workplace enforcement actions in contemporary history. They were earning $11 to $12 an hour to dismember poultry — dangerous, brutal, repetitive labor.
The raids have resurrected an old debate: if not immigrants, then who will do the tough jobs in America?
The Pew Research Center estimates there are 7.5 million unauthorized workers in the United States concentrated in agriculture, construction and the hospitality industry. In 2014, about 1.1 million, or 10%, of restaurant workers were unauthorized.