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Unemployed Americans Competing With Illegal Aliens for Unskilled Jobs.


LOS ANGELES — A year ago, a day-laborer center adjacent to a Home Depot here teemed with Latin American immigrants who showed up and found a sure day’s work painting, gardening or hauling. These days, more than immigrants are packing the Hollywood Community Job Center: Unemployed Americans are joining them. There’s little work for anybody.

“Everybody is coming to look for work,” Rene Jemio, outreach coordinator for the hiring hall, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s not just your average immigrant anymore; it’s African-Americans and whites, too.” For the first time in a decade, unskilled immigrants are competing with Americans for work.

Since 2003, the labor force participation rate — the employed or job-seeking share of the population — among foreign-born Hispanics had been consistently on the rise. The decline in the third quarter of 2008 “is a testament to the character and depth of the current recession triggered by the housing slump,” says the Pew report.

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