Trump’s rhetoric and actions are making immigrants, documented or not, stay home. Hard core Trump supporters are happy. Industries that rely on cheap labor that Americans don’t want to perform are not. Think agriculture, construction, hands-on eldercare that involves feeding, bathing, changing frail old people, behind-the-scenes restaurant work. Another segment of the population that should be worried is small town America, where immigrants often settle and open thriving small businesses — revitalizing empty main streets. In every town Phyllis and I went through in Low Country and middle Georgia, there was a Mexican restaurant, often with a Mexican grocery right next door.
When I say “jobs Americans don’t want”, read this New Yorker article to see what I’m talking about:
Actually, by the end of the article, the employer is talking about replacing the bulk of his undocumented work force with a robotic chicken processor — so rather than worrying about which group has the jobs, there will be no jobs at all.
The workplace of the future is complicated by many factors, automation and robotics being among the most significant. I wish we were talking about that, not gloating over sending desperate people back to Guatemala.