See how easy it is? Laborers are always available nearby – all
cash, no names, please – on an informal basis, or through official
channels with just a bit of paperwork.
Now I’ve recommended that gardeners partake of this ready labor pool
many times and seen frightened looks and sometimes shock that I hire
these men by myself, even allowing them in my house to use the
bathroom. That’s right, and I’ve lived to tell the tale! I don’t
know; maybe I’m foolhardy, or just cheap. But aside from the price
being right, there’s another reason I’ll keep going back to hire the
next Jose and Rudolfo and occasionally an African with perfect English.
According to this article,
the $45 billion that immigrants send home to support their families is
five times the official development assistance provided to Latin
America and the Caribbean. El Salvador receives $3 billion yearly from
its immigrants in the U.S., fully 15 percent of its gross national
product. And according to an article in AZ Central that’s no longer
free on line, the average immigrant worker sends home $300 a month,
which is roughly a third of his $900/month total income and six times
what workers in Mexico make. The vast majority of workers in Mexico
make less than $21 a day.
Call me a liberal. Call me an dewey-eyed internationalist with no
respect for borders or the legalities of immigration. Or maybe it’s
just admiration for people who manage somehow to leave their
impoverished towns and get here, then bust their asses at two or more
jobs to earn a paltry $900 a month and SAVE A THIRD of it to send home
to their families. It’s done by living in small apartments with lots
of other people, by never or rarely eating in restaurants, by frankly
living a more spartan life than my middle class ass could ever endure.