FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Remember the argument against cracking down on illegal immigration that went: "Illegal aliens come here to do the jobs Americans won't do?" Well, guess what? Americans are doing them... and in greater numbers than ever before.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/01/art.home.depot.jpg caption="Day laborers wait in front of a Home Depot in Los Angeles."]
USA Today reports that a growing number of American citizens are headed to street corners and parking lots of home improvement stores to find day-labor work - jobs usually done by illegal aliens.
A UCLA professor of urban planning says it's happening most often in areas where hot construction markets have collapsed - and there are lots of unemployed construction workers without stable work. He estimates that the proportion of American born day laborers has at least doubled in the last three years. Back in 2006, they made up seven percent of the day labor workforce.
Some of the places seeing an increase in U.S. citizens seeking day-labor jobs include Tucson, Arizona, Arlington, Virginia, and Los Angeles.
Experts say the day labor pool is becoming much more ethnically diverse. Whites, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans are all joining the ranks - competing for work painting, laying bricks or landscaping. And it's a trend that will only get worse once unemployment benefits run out and more people are laid off.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent... and is expected to get worse before it improves. A recent report shows jobless rates increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia in October. Michigan leads the pack with over 15 percent unemployment, followed by Nevada, Rhode Island, California and South Carolina.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when a growing number of Americans are seeking day-labor jobs?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack, Here in Silicon Valley there are a lot of laid-off geeks from IT and high-tech manufacturing out on the same corners. Manufacturing and support jobs have gone to countries with national health care that saves these companies 15 to 20 percent off the top and unless we wake up to that reality, the job migration isn’t over and certainly not reversing any time soon. Day laborer could become our largest work group.
It means we have successfully become a third world country! Hooray! The jobs will be re-imported to the good ol’ USA since we'll soon be willing to work for nothing!
Dick from Indiana writes:
Not very much. Let's do the math. The unemployment rate has doubled since 2006 and the number of Americans seeking day labor jobs has doubled. So, as a percent of unemployed, the situation hasn't changed very much if any at all. So I would say this is a very silly question and whoever thought it up should go join the day labor job seekers.
Dennis from Penndel, Pennsylvania writes:
Maybe finally the economy is doing what the government hasn't: stopping illegal immigration! If we Americans are taking the jobs that the illegals were taking then we can be better off! The only problem is most of those jobs are off the books so there is still a lack of tax revenue. At the very least, we have to be pleased that these people are trying to work.
Greg from Houston writes:
What are we supposed to do, Jack? I'm a 47-year-old well-educated man and have been unemployed since August of 2008. My unemployment runs out next month. My wife is still employed. We have a $1400 mortgage and kids in college and high school… We've cut everything there is to cut. I'm sitting here in front of the fireplace with the heat off. This is a national crisis and the politicians seem to be oblivious. If I have to dig ditches to care for my family I will, but at my age with my experience it is just not right for that to happen to me in a nation that is supposedly a leader in the world.