Streams

Walking for Day Laborer Rights

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nadia Marin-Molina of the Workplace Project discusses the 300 New York area day laborers marching to Washington, DC, to take part in March for America, a national rally calling for immigration reform. One of the marchers, Long Island day laborer Saúl Linares, calls in from the road on his way to DC.

Guests:

Saúl Linares and Nadia Marin-Molina

Comments [17]

My Country

In my country we have illegal immigrants too!

Mar. 19 2010 08:47 PM
michelle from LI

I feel for the day laborers. my husband and I have used their help to complete our 2nd story addition. I see them stand by home depot in the cold waiting for a job. I hope that they get something out of the march

Mar. 19 2010 10:56 AM
bvc

When you get payed with a check, taxes come out of your check that most undocumented immigrants do not claim because they are afraid or don't know how do so. They pay taxes. When you pay rent or mortgage you are paying taxes, so where do you think undocumented immigrants live?!!! They pay taxes. When you go shopping for food or leisure products, you pay sales taxes. Yes, they too pay taxes!! Know that undocumented immigrants will never get their social security benefits, so instead wonder WHERE THE HECK IS THE MONEY UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS PAYED TO THE IRS? Yeah, that is what we should be wondering. Someone is making money at the expense of afraid undocumented immigrants. But, don't worry, I am working on educating them :D

Mar. 19 2010 10:53 AM
HC from nyc

I think there is a problem with how this entire debate is being framed. Essentially what is happening is the poor are being pitted against the poor. Illegal immigrants are treated as scapegoats fro a problem which is implicit in this system. In other words there are people who are profiting off of illegal immigration precisely because those who are illegal are not protected by rights, are not recognized as fully human. In this way the system, which many say is "broken" is precisely "working" but for the rich. It is merely a new form of indentured servitude

Mar. 19 2010 10:49 AM
Leah from Manhattan

Matthew, I agree. The caller from the Bronx only embarrassed himself with his hideous racism and prejudice - and I'm going to assume that his family were not Native Americans and were thus immigrants at some time. My husband's family are recent immigrants, and the sacrifices they made to come to the United States and the contributions they made to this country and their community are monumental.

Mar. 19 2010 10:49 AM
Sam from Brooklyn

Since illegal immigrants are primarily hired because employers can pay them below the minimum wage that they'd be forced to pay legal citizens, shouldn't illegal immigrants be concerned that they will lose their competitive advantage as workers if employers are forced to pay them minimum wage? If I were an employer, I would rather hire a native English speaker.

Mar. 19 2010 10:47 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

The jobs that immigrants used to do have already left our country. That's why so many companies have moved their manufacturing overseas. Because regular Americans are not willing to work for lower wages and doing tough jobs. If immigrants had been allowed to come as they have for most of our history, our economy would be stronger and more diverse.

Mar. 19 2010 10:46 AM
Danielle from Washington Heights

I'm tired of hearing people speak of illegal immigrants as though they are taking something away from Americans. Most employers that give jobs to illegal immigrants still ask for a SSN. I know from my time in restaurants that everyone provided an SSN, one they paid for in the black market in order to work. This is the norm. So the great majority of illegal immigrants are in fact paying taxes, but will never have access to the benefits of those taxes, like medicare and disability.

Mar. 19 2010 10:46 AM
Matthew from Great Neck, NY

Please, please, please, don't make this segment a forum for all the bigots out there to rail against immigrants, legal or otherwise. It's just disgusting, and I'm only going to turn my radio off.

Mar. 19 2010 10:43 AM
Marissa from Manhattan, NY

I'm 1st generation American on one side, 5th generation on the other side; my boyfriend is from India and mired in the green card process; which for him will take about 7 years +; and I believe we need the people who are coming across illegally to do the jobs that many Americans will not do; I haven't seen any of my unemployed architect friends looking for a job cleaning bathrooms or picking fruit; even with high unempolyment rates we need these people. I don't think the borders should be closed just because I'm a citizen; I made it in, now shut the door for anyone else? That's ridiculous! We need to embrace the flux of our population; and allow people more easy access to this country.
We're deceiving ourselves if we think America will always draw immigrants; they will only be attracted by the level of opportunity offered here; we should try to retain the best quality people - whether they provide landscaping services or are highly technical researchers.

Mar. 19 2010 10:42 AM
Johnny S from Cranford, NJ

We can solve this "crisis" in about two weeks if the states pass laws with mandatory jail time and license suspension for contractors and landscapers who use illegal workers.

Mar. 19 2010 10:42 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

I'd like to add that if all the illegal immigrants were paying taxes, they wouldn't be costing us all so much.

Mar. 19 2010 10:40 AM
bvc from Trenton, NJ

By the way, I think that everyone who thinks that undocumented immigrants are ONLY HISPANIC, you should watch The Papers Movie to be CONVINCED that this is a matter that affects not only Latin America. Lets not be ignorant, we all know our country has been built by immigrants.

Mar. 19 2010 10:40 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

What ever happened to "give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."??? When did we become such a pretentious society? ALL of our ancestors at some point immigrated here. What is with the sense of entitlement in America?

Mar. 19 2010 10:39 AM
bvc from Trenton, NJ

Hi Brian,

I wanted to be one of the first to thank you for covering this topic. I believe there are many misconceptions about undocumented immigrants, so the more we learn, the better we will understand. It is NOT 100% true immigrants don't pay taxes, it is NOT true that they qualify to take advantage of government programs, it is NOT true that they can ONLY provide unskilled work since there are many young people who are in fact skilled workers. Please take a look at the DREAM Act, it would help so many students to become productive members in our communities. Also, I wanted to say that I DISAGREE about undocumented people not filling out the Census, it is silly and will not help our communities. Sunday will hopefully mark an important day in the history of immigration like other great events that have shaped our country's history. I am excited to say that I will be present, and I will represent all those of us who support immigration reform for better civil rights.

Mar. 19 2010 10:36 AM
Jerry from ny

We have 10% unemployment rate, do the citizens of this country have rights too? Does anybody care how much the illegals cost the taxpayers? They jump over the fence and think they are entitled to U.S. citizenship? (meaning public assistance, social security payments, etc.) In 1986 3 millions of them were legalized and what do we have now? What kind of precedent would you set by legalizing them? Damn high price to pay for a cheaper meal in a restaurant because an illegal is washing dishes there for substandard wage.

Mar. 19 2010 10:34 AM
Marco from New York

I'm a naturalized citizen...not a legal immigrant. Words matter. That said immigration reform is sorely needed.

Mar. 19 2010 10:30 AM

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