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 Working with Migrant Workers 
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This past weekend I had the chance to work with some immigrant workers from Mexico cutting Christmas trees near the Tennessee border. One of them spoke very good english and we started to talk about how he came over the border and what he thought of North Carolina. He told me he came over the border during the night in Texas and lives with his older brother in Apex. The point that he made that surprised me is that work (he works in construction) is slowing down in the area he lives. He told me that some of his relatives have moved back to Mexico because of the lack of work to be found. I was wondering if anybody else has heard of immigrants moving back to Mexico because of the lack of work to found??

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Stephen Wood


Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:19 am
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I have not personally talked to any immigrants about the situation you have presented, but Paul Cuadros' book touches on a similar aspect. Most of the boys on Cuadros' soccer team are illegal immigrants or have unstable immigration statuses which keep them from attending college under in state rates. Oso, one of the players in the first season, chooses to move back to Honduras so he can go to a university to study engineering. He couldn't pursue higher education or a job he would value so he returned to his home for more education. He may return to the US to use this degree.


Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:41 pm
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I have not talked to any immigrants either. I cannot believe that they are moving back. I thought there were plenty of jobs for them here. That was neat though you got to have a conversation with him about his situation. Considering it does tie into our class.

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Shannon Lynn


Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:11 pm
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That's really interesting. I had never heard of a shortage of labor. Perhaps with the growing inundation of immigrants in specific areas those labor pools have gotten too large for that region to handle. I highly doubt this is the case across the whole US, but I could see how it might happen with particular areas or jobs. Cuadros in his speech at convocation did sort of touch on the fact that immigrants are often shipped in to the US for the work and once the corporation has all it needs then they offer no more help to the migrant laborers. I think he said something to that effect, but I'm not entirely sure.


Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:09 pm
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That is really interesting. I have not heard of immigrants moving back to Mexico because of job shortages. I know some have been sent back or forced to go back because of immigration issues or whatever. It seems to me that there are enough jobs, but I think it is a lot harder for them to get those jobs because of immigration laws and regulations.

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Elizabeth Ashley Harris


Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:50 pm
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I agree with Ashley that because of immigration laws some immigrants have just gone back to their native countries to avoid hassle. I also think that some of the few responsible employers are becoming more wary of hiring immigrants. I'm interested, as is Steven, to find out what the real cause of returning home is linked to if anyone else knows or finds something.

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Chris Walz


Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:17 pm
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I have worked with many immigrants from Mexico through farming. Many of the immigrants I worked with come to the US only during the crop producing months then take back to Mexico the money they earned here to help support their family in Mexico. The key to immigrants having lasting jobs is their ability to learn the English language. Most laborers want to hire immigrants with English speaking skills. The ones that have a hard time finding jobs more than likely have a hard time with the English language.

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Robert Reavis


Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:31 pm
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I have not heard anything about the shortage of jobs for immigrant workers. After reading Robert's response, I can now understand it is because employers want workers that can speak English. Non-fluent workers are limited to seasonal job oppotunities, so I guess it makes sense there is a shortage of jobs for immigrants.

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Jonathan Chase Weaver


Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:16 pm
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I wonder if the gentleman that Steve spoke with was more talking of lack of jobs in the apex area. (for those that don't know, apex is near Raleigh in wake county). I had not heard, as it seems most others hadn't either, about job shortages in north carolina, especially in labor intensive jobs that tend to be the stereotypical hispanic jobs. But who knows?

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Abby Bishop


Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:48 pm
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The language barrier that separates non-English speaking citizens and only English speaking citizens is the greatest deficit to our communities. Not only have I worked with many Hispanics, but also I currently work as a part-time corrections officer in Yadkin county, and I have seen first hand how the inabilities of speaking English greatly affects Hispanics in our region. Many Hispanics don't understand the laws of our country, and don't even know how to get the laws explained to them until it is too late. I just believe we have got to find ways to help improve this communication barrier.

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Robert Reavis


Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:02 pm
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I wanted to clear up somethings that I wrote in this post. The immigrants I worked with have specific trade in the Apex area. It was hanging doors and windows in homes and commericial buildings. Business is slowing and they are only finding 2 or 3 days of work a week. They intend in staying in this business and do not want to do another trade. One of the immigrant workers told me that he will not work in the agriculture business and would rather return home (Mexico) instead of working in that business. I asked him about moving to other states to find work, but he says he has no family in other states and doesn't have any working connections in other states to help find him work.

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Stephen Wood


Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:42 am
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