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Small Businesses Lament There Are Too Few Mexicans in U.S., Not Too Many

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In Dallas, the King of Texas Roofing Co. says it has turned down $20 million worth of projects in the past two years because it doesn’t have enough workers.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Hargrave is expanding his successful Tacolicious chain of restaurants, but says he is building smaller ones due to “a massive shortage of restaurant workers.”

And in Florida, Steve Johnson, who harvests oranges for the citrus industry, says, “Right now, if I had 80 guys, I could put every one of them to work.”

As hiring accelerates and the labor market tightens thanks to a steady U.S. recovery, employers who need low-skilled workers are increasingly struggling to fill vacancies. One big reason: Mexican workers, who form the labor backbone of industries like hospitality, construction and agriculture, are in short supply.

President-elect Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that he would deport immigrants who are here illegally and build a wall to prevent new ones from sneaking in. He recently softened his stance, saying that he would focus on removing undocumented criminals, at least initially.

“While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, this doesn’t change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower-skilled workers with less education who compete directly against vulnerable American workers, and that these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they will ever pay in,” Mr. Trump said Aug. 31 in Phoenix.

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36 Comments to "Small Businesses Lament There Are Too Few Mexicans in U.S., Not Too Many"

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  1. What the hell did we do before 1965? It must have been pure pandemonium in the Human Resources dept. in that bygone era.

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  2. If all you want to offer is under the table employment, suitable for people willing to flout the laws, as they already have by being smuggled in, at the low reimbursement you can hire the exploited at, well, yes, you will have trouble finding anyone but illegals, and not even those, if they can no longer break in. Crybabies who’ve grown used to getting fat on cheap illegal immigrant labor. Why, if they could, no doubt the entire employer class would hire only illegals, and no Americans at all, if it were as possible as it is profitable.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
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  3. Would it be possible that Trump could institute a temporary work program for Mexicans (and even some Central Americans) – vet them –make sure they are not coming with a criminal background — they can work, but they’re not bringing whole families and not on a path to citizenship.? If they want to actually want to be immigrants -with hopes of becoming citizens -then they can get on the line with everyone else. I really never really bought the idea that MEXICANS are taking our jobs. Look at America’s youth. All these kids with college degrees working in Burger King or some kind of retail store. Across the racial board – American kids do not want to do the work that the MEXICANS are doing. White kids are too spoiled and addicted to their smart phones, black kids look at this kind of work as slave work and rather hang in the hood, and Asian kids all want to become professionals and are in school busting their backsides studying. Yes, I am making a “bigoted” statement –but even a bigoted statement has some truth to it. BTW I am not Asian. So many Trump can find some kind of middle ground on this issue instead of going loco in the coco and building a wall.

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  4. Hell, small businesses would repeal the 13th amendment if they could. Then they could rent slaves from temp agencies.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
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  5. Raise wages and workers will be attracted. But the roofer and the orange picker want to keep paying below market wages to Mexicans.

  6. These companies demanding cheap labor are nothing but junk firms with junk growth and junk profits. We don’t need junk businesses.

    They can all go under.

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  7. These clowns think there are no words in English for “pay higher wages, give better benefits.”

    That’s how they find people. Oh, and create good work environments, so good people aren’t driven out by bad.

    These people love talking about “jobs Americans won’t do.” There’s no such thing. Only wages that Americans think too low. If a job can’t pay an American a living wage, it’s not worth filling.

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  8. It’s not just labor costs, though. There are fringe benefits to hiring criminal alien labor; they have little legal recourse to redress grievances. Compliant peons, basically.

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  9. “Jobs Americans won’t do”

    This is the Big Lie.

    Americans would do all these jobs if they paid a living wage. Did you know that nearly 1/2 of African American adults have no job?

    Illegal immigration is economic genocide against African Americans.

    Send the foreign wage-slaves back to Mexico, and hire African Americans and other citizens at a living wage. Move our poor Americans from welfare, jail, dispare, and misery, to middle class.

    Tump will save African American poor.

  10. “As hiring accelerates and the labor market tightens thanks to a steady U.S. recovery”

    What recovery is that?

  11. “Mr. Hargrave says he tries to cultivate a friendly environment to contain turnover. Workers can take breaks to watch soccer matches; the radio in the kitchen blares ranchera music. He is organizing free English classes. Soon, he says, he plans to introduce benefits like paternity leave and start a scholarship fund for the children of workers.”

    Any American employer that willfully betrays American citizens via this madness deserves tremendous fines and jailing.


    “As many as half of the roughly 5,000 private firefighters based in the Pacific Northwest and contracted by state and federal governments to fight forest fires are immigrants, mostly from Mexico. And an untold number of them are working here illegally.”

    This is from 2006. Other sources suggest at least half of US Forest Service firefighters are illegal.

    No doubt there will be special turnstyle built into the wall for various illegal immigrants who contract to fight forest fires.

  13. No one has mentioned the possibility that Señor Trump’s wild accusations about Mexicans in the United States, focused only superficially in terms of immigration, are part of the same destabilization program Obama pursued in regard to Mexico, just played in a different key. On verra.

  14. It’s not just labor costs, though. There are fringe benefits to hiring criminal alien labor; they have little legal recourse to redress grievances. Compliant peons, basically.


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  15. Exactly, which is why we are flooded with illegals, an increasing wealth class disparity and the most Americans EVER out of the workforce.

  16. Wages for low skilled workers will rise, as will prices for the products and services from industries that use these workers. At some point it will reach equilibrium. Amazing – we will have higher wagers for low skilled workers without having to pass a minimum wage. Boo hoo.

    Maybe kids will be able to work during the summer and actually pay for a significant portion of their college tuition again, while those not suited for, or interested in college can make enough to move out of their parents basement.

    Meanwhile, the exodus of illegals will cause a crash in the price of low end rentals. Another boon for the lower wage earner…once again without other government interference in the labor market.

  17. The left is actually in thrall to the “Small Business Owner”, who often does not pay fair wages, hires family or illegal labor and never pays health care, sick leave, etc. The left hates “Corporations” who engage in the opposite practices.

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  18. “Hell, small businesses would repeal the 13th amendment if they could. Then they could rent slaves from temp agencies.”

    An astute observation.

    A remark heard from a small landscaping company employer using Guatemalan labor is that immigrants make excellent workers because they will work continuously day in and day out without complaint, but as soon as they become too “Americanized” and want to start taking a Sunday off to spend with their children, or to have a barbecue, (thus enjoying some of the fruits of their labor) they lose much of their value as workers.

    Among groups of US traveling “harvesters” that you find in RV campgrounds in farm country during “picking and planting” seasons, you see true “American migrants” traveling from harvest to harvest in well maintained travel trailers or motorhomes; people hired to run the large and often quite sophisticated farm equipment and assist in bringing in the harvest at large industrialized corporate farms. These individuals are itinerant American workers earning a decent living and as far from the dust bowl “Grapes of Wrath” and the squalor of the peasant migrant camps as a jet airplane is from a dugout canoe.

    A decent wage and fair dealings will bring the American worker back into the fore of all facets of American industry without third-world labor needing to be subsidized on the backs of American taxpayers.

  19. If Trump does deport a few million illegals, it could cause an economic downturn that the media will seize upon and repeat endlessly. Trump supporters should be ready to counter that narrative.

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  20. Mexicans are here to lower our wages. The only people who have voice in these newspapers are the investment class. You will never hear about stagnating wages with increasing productivity. The only valid POV are the 0.1 percent. heck, the people they are interviewing for this are small potatoes compared to the companies that really benefit from illegals: Darden restaurants, Turner construction, etc.

  21. Big surprise, the Zionist globalists say we don’t have enough immigrants…

    Look at California, New York and you see the future of America if they get their way. A few super rich at the top, and millions of poor slaves at the bottom…poor slaves that are easily manipulated to vote democrat…This time is CA they made you get a background check for buying ammo…Latinos are concerned about governemnt goodies and open borders, outside of that you could do anything you wish, seriously. When was the last time La Raza was concerned about NATO or the Gaza Strip, or TPP?

    Every tool of Jewish control is used to push for open borders and mass immigration. Hollywood, Wall Street, MSM, Washington Think Tanks, repeat again and again how wonderful mass migration is, but if you have been outside the posh rich islands in California and see the gangs and the poverty exploding…

    I live in the DC suburbs and there are entire towns around DC that speak predominately Spanish. And in DC you will always get a job if you are bilingual, over if you ONLY speak English. This means migrant will have a leg up on native English….

    This is an invasion, Obama the worst President ever and a man I voted for, has had a policy of accelerating mass migration, while the NYTimes and WSJ press the lie that he is a big deport of illegals, BS!

    We DON’T need a government pushing minimum wage, that is a scam to again destroy small business and distract from the real problems. Wages should rise naturally as labor market tighten. The future bring automation to most labor intensive industries, what will all this cheap labor do then???????????

    WSJ is a treasonous entity and could not care less about America and its future.

  22. nonsense, name a time in history when a shortage of low wage, non educated workers has lead to a down turn in the economy?

    Lack of workers in such areas that use low wage workers historically use automation to fill the gap. In truth, mass migration will doom America, and IS turning this country into a nation of rich and poor, just look at California, as California goes, so goes America.

  23. Well said, but they use all their tools of manipulation and propaganda to reinforce the fake narrative.

    When was the last time the MSM, or Hollywood, or a politician focused on the cost Americans pay for all this cheap labor.

    They just keep saying: “Jobs Americans won’t do, They pay taxes, Can’t break up families, can’t bus them all back to Mexico, America is a nation of immigrants, they just want to work”, and if you question this BS they brand you a racist. Yet their homeland Israel uses blood tests to verify Jewishness, if you wish to migrate to Israel, and they have walls a plenty…total hypocrisy, because “Jews have a culture worth preserving, America’ doesn’t”.

    Sorry to go their but it is true, this is a Zionist push, just look at how obedient and controllable Latino voters are in California…and NY

  24. The left is actually in thrall to the “Small Business Owner”, who often does not pay fair wages, hires family or illegal labor and never pays health care, sick leave, etc. The left hates “Corporations” who engage in the opposite practices.

    Often true (though who gets to define “fair wages”, and what’s wrong with hiring family?), yet don’t forget that small business often creates 1 or 2 quite good jobs- for the owner. Where I live there is a not insubstantial number of these folks who comprise a not insubstantial part of the middle class….and buy the unis for the kids baseball leagues. And I don’t see any evidence that the Left is in thrall to the Small Business Owner; there is some evidence, the exemption of small businesses from certain regs for example, that the Left bows to political reality.

    But your point regarding the hiring of illegals is well made. Hopefully there will soon appear on every radio and TV station in the country Trump PSAs publicizing the Illegal Labor Hotline 800 number and the $rewards that whistleblowers can receive for reporting illegal labor practices. How many illegals would keep their job if whistleblowers are awarded $500 per and the employer faces 1 yr in Lockup? As a small business owner myself I do not doubt I would find myself eventually having to pay 2-3 $/hr more as the labor market tightens up. I would consider it a patriotic duty.

  25. junk firms with junk growth and junk profits

    Absolutely. I’ve seen these shitheads in action; if its not an outright cost plus award, they bid one dollar lower than a domestic firm and claim they need illegals to stay in business.

    How many more crappy restaurants and unethical contractors do we need?

  26. A jew (Miriam Jordan) allies with Latino(Santiago Perez) to bring in more latinos so that Jews have more non- white allies in the war against whites.

  27. I saw this in a consulting firm whose profits were squeezed out of H-1b visa holders. There were plenty of American workers with technical skills better suited to the positions the H-1bs got and the pay of the H-1bs was not that much lower. But the owner could squeeze eighty hours a week out of the H-1bs just be constantly threatening to fire them and make them illegal. The H-1bs didn’t do as good work as similar Americans but the Americans could be called in to cluean up their work later.

    Many firms use H-bs as if they were indentured servants,

  28. says:
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    Hell yes. Just increase the wages.

    As I recall, construction work used to pay 2x minimum wage for basic labor, and more for skills. Every roofing company around here uses crews of illegals. But for $20 to $30 hour, they could staff up with Starbucks Baristas. Even though it might seem absurd — they are paid minimum wage.

    Toss in a little more automation and project planning and the total job cost would be a fraction of the increase in wages.

    Illegals have shielded industries from wage pressures that lead to innovation. Innovation in every phase, including from product design to final installation. Elon Musk claims that his electric roof panels will be cheaper than conventional roofing materials. He tends to use funny arithmetic, but I believe he is 1/2 right.

    A problem is that we have used cheap labor to deal with inflationary pressures. That plus imports. I’m in favor of importing stuff that requires very cheap labor. The kind of textile and garment work that has migrated to the world’s poorest countries. For example. But importing cheap labor is different and much worse. Or maybe something like meat packing — send it to Mexico or somewhere to have it chopped up and then send it back. I dunno. But for god sakes, don’t import the workers.

    The thing is, we have been fighting deflation for a long time. It is only areas like US medical care and public employees and the various rent seeking housing schemes that have prevented literal deflation. So we could use a little.

    But don’t forget that less cheap labor will have a short term impact on inflation.

  29. Funny..In Canada we have no problems staffing construction, roofing, berry picking and all that other stuff with locals. All the roofers who fixed my roof? White. Well, one black guy, a Jamaican immigrant. The guys who trim my hedges and feed my lawn? 2 white guys. Dudes who put in my carpet? 3rd generation greek-canadians.

    What they want are low wage nu-slaves.

  30. If ‘Steve Johnson’ raised the wages he is willing to pay workers, he’d get his ’80 guys’ in nothing flat.

  31. and don’t forget the ‘fringe costs’ that are passed on to the US taxpayer. We have HAD IT with paying the fringe costs, and enough people now have noticed, which is why Trump is our next President. No more saving $$ by hiring illegals, and dumping the costs of their kids, medical care, crime, etc. on the rest of us. No more ‘jobs Americans won’t do’. “Shortage of Mexican workers”? I don’t think these people saw the recent election results. That era is OVER.

  32. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    So sad. And I have a relative whose father would still be growing cotton if could just use slaves.

  33. Dirty little secret:
    Hire illegals.
    Pay them substandard wages, in cash, off the books.
    No employer contributions to Social Security, Medicare, unemployment or disability insurance.
    U,S, citizens get the shaft.
    Criminal employers get rich.
    Illegal aliens live in fear of deportation.

    As a U.S. citizen, journeyman carpenter, I have seen this with my own eyes.

    One bright spot:
    Cash will not be outlawed in the U.S., because that is how the illegals are paid.

    Go to a supermarket in “white” sections of town, and you will see citizens paying with $20 bills they got from the ATM at their bank, or with a debit card.

    Visit a (non union) supermarket (with cheaper prices) in a predominantly immigrant area, and note the prevalence of $100 bills, because the customers were paid in cash, most likely off the books.

  34. If your business can’t pay a decent wage you should put it out of it’s misery.

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