The New York Times ran a story in the April 17, 2007 edition in the Business section about how the housing slowdown in America is impacting illegal immigrants in America. the interesting statistic in this story is that illegal immigrants are taking up to 20% of all construction jobs, including jobs that pay $25.00 to $35.00 an hour. This is a far cry from how Bush and other Republicans portray illegal immigrants. The refrain from the Republicans and Bush is that illegal immigrants are taking jobs that no one else will do such as farm labor. As this story makes clear, however, illegal immigrants are taking jobs that Americans would do if they knew about the jobs or had an opportunity to apply for them.
The reason why employers hire illegal immigrants is that it is cheaper to hire them. They won't apply for benefits like unemployment insurance or workers' compensation. They don't complain about being subjected to unlawful working conditions. Because they are often paid "off the books" their compensation doesn't show up for tax purposes. This means that employers don't have to pay for Social Security or Medicare benefits. For the employer, they are a great deal. For the rest of America, however, employing illegal immigrants isn't such a great deal. In fact, its a lousy deal. ________________________________________________________________
Click on the link in the title to read the New York Times article.