Los Angeles is largely an immigrant city. Like many US cities, it is generally divided into classes, a “tale of two cities” if you wish. Being the second largest city in the United States, and Located near the Mexican border, it’s no surprise that it attracts lots of latin immigrants. They take one lots of service jobs, like manual labor in contractor work and house cleaning, laundry service and child care work.
Especially with the current Trump administration cracking down on undocumented immigrants, there is more uncertainty nowadays surrounding the legal well-being and financial/employment future of this population then ever before. It comes with especially egregious irony that these poor men and women not only have to work on the lowest rungs of society, facing bigotry and discrimination along the way, but now have to face institutional and legal challenges to their mere existence in the USA.
While this may come as somewhat of a surprise to readers, “illegal” employment of undocumented workers really doesn’t shock citizens of larger cities. Like this Reuter’s article showing a revelation in a gubernatorial race really didn’t have an impact on voters. Coming from NYC originally, I am well aware of the masses of workers standing outside of home depot, hoping for daily work as contractors on staten island, as well as the hoards of “cleaning ladies” in NYC, since everyone lives and overpays rent for apartments.
Los Angeles is even worse, of course, since it’s a border city with one of the largest populations of immigrants (undocumented and otherwise), as well as plenty of demand for housework and manual labor. Furthermore, many of them report that they are treated very poorly by their “bosses”. Considering the city speaks spanish about 75% of the time (some searching for son buenas las lavadoras digitales to find the best washing machine for their households), why should anyone be surprised that there are undocumented immigrants around?
What do you think about these issues? Do you think these immigrants should be granted more protections or rights?
Image courtesy of PRI.