The Hidden Economic and Social Impact of Illegal Workers in a Downtown Setting

Immigration is a hot topic in the presidential elections, and I started thinking about my interaction with illegal immigrants. Really it starts with me, as my grandfather was illegal. He did not find that out until he was about 90-year old, retired on social security, receiving a steelworker’s pension, black lung benefits and living in subsidized housing. I also have had work experience relevant to the issue.

Working in a couple of urban downtown settings, you sometimes see people who have to work for cash or a check in the name of someone else. From my experience, I would say that it is a pretty common thing. Much of the work is concentrated in day labor or in some lower end of the food industry. 

I really never thought too much about it, and in Phoenixville, I had a person who worked with me putting up the stage for a flat price of $200 cash. After a couple of times, I realized that $200 bought a lot of guys. The guys were not mechanized for moving material, but the vast number of guys working together made it look easy.

All this cash was paid to Roberto Hernandez… how many guys the same name can you have? That is why “flat price” is always a good alternative. I had some other companies do it for $200 in the past, but it was not steady. You think about how they got that way.  My grandfather’s story was that he came over on a boat and he knew nothing.  He said once he got here, he left the boat and never signed anything. Those were different times.

Once when between jobs, I worked a day labor job in Baltimore, Maryland along with my cousin Bob. In addition to being paid in one dollar bills at the end of the day, I was able to collect one dollar from everyone because I was driving them in my Jeep Cherokee. These folks did not work anywhere near as hard as the folks in Phoenixville, and often looked the other way when confronted with work. 

Now, people are attempting, in many cases to provide for their families in whatever town the people call home. Sometimes people are looking at it as a short-term commitment to get someone out of financial straits, or just to provide food on the table for relatives. In all of this, people are sleeping 10 to an apartment, and trying to get by with a lot less than you or I are accustomed to experiencing in our everyday life.

The illegal workers are at a competitive disadvantage in the capitalistic system, because they are lacking the credentials necessary to make a living. So they do whatever is offered. They gather at central locations, like in front of the Acme in Manasquan, NJ, as I see them when I go to the beach. The Acme in Manasquan has trees around the perimeter, and designers have placed tree guards between the parking lot space and the trees. The barrier is a four-foot board, supported by two four-foot boards as legs. The structure looks like a hitching post. Every day the illegals and other day laborers go there and lean against the hitching posts in groups of three or four, waiting for someone to offer them work. Whether it is through an agent, or standing at the hitching post, you are at a competitive disadvantage in a capitalistic society. That offers someone the opportunity for increased profits, so they could do something like create a new job or get their wife or husband that suit or dress that they wanted.

This leads to abuses, and enables work for less than minimum wage jobs, guaranteed under the law.  People become wage slaves, an underclass, and perceived as such.  Why do we allow such a thing? How could we even understand why we perceive their interactions as “less than”? Migrant farmworkers have even less movement capability to the wage enslavement they experience.

Human trafficking is not just about sex trafficking. There is also use of forced labor.  It appears that it is a separate issue, as not to mix it up too much with exploitation of women. According to Anthropologist Denise Brennan, the two primary characteristics in these kinds of human predicaments is the labor abuse, and the designation of illegal citizen.  

I devoted a lot of thought to how this issue might be resolved, and I thought about the two parts of this puzzle, and labor abuse. You can always report the illegal citizen, but the illegal cannot report the abuse, as she or he will be tied to a precarious situation. So the only reasonable conclusion is to delete the illegal immigrant from the equation. 

You need to have border control in order to lessen the problem. Sometimes it appears we are looking to create a more global community without respect to our national interests. I believe that Globalism has taken on a national state of its own. Fredrick Engels may have viewed The Global State as the synthesis derived from the abandonment of the labor theory of value (Communism).

It could also mean that our culture is so advantageous, and our style of life so sought after, that people from different cultures are looking to blend with our culture. I do not think anyone knows what this will mean for the standard of living in the United States, and Downingtown, PA where I live. 

In order to have a nation you need a border. There are strong moneyed interests that are gaining every day by the inaction in closing the borders to the mass migration. They are even supported by the “sanctuary cities.” A sanctuary city means wage slavery welcome, and welcome to America, the land of opportunity for someone and that might not be you.