Where Can Illegals Find Work In Queens?
By Jeff Feinman
One of the biggest reasons immigrants cross the border illegally is the varied employment opportunities available in the United States. Illegal workers are willing to accept jobs for much cheaper earnings than wage-monitored American workers.
Reports have said that the United States is losing $35 billion a year in income tax collections because of off-the book jobs. According to State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), most illegal immigrant workers “earn one tenth their American counterparts,” and most businesses are willing to hire such cheap and compliant labor.
Some are quick to point out the positives that immigrant workers bring to the table. “Just about every single industry is positively impacted by immigrant workforce contributions,” said New Immigrant Community Empowerment Executive Director Bryan Pu-Folkes. “The immigrant workforce makes a clear and appreciable impact in communities – whether its high-tech or low-tech industries, manual labor jobs, the restaurant industry, or the agricultural industry. This city would be devastated if we were to forgo immigrant impact.”
So where exactly do these illegal immigrants work? “Anything with the public, you can’t do that,” said Milton of Gothic Cabinet Furniture on Northern Boulevard “If they can’t speak the language, then they can’t be in retail.”
There are certain lines of work that traditionally have made use of illegal immigrant workers. Such businesses include landscaping, warehouses, restaurants, and factories – all streams of business where employers benefit from having the most possible hands at cheap prices. In March, a brothel in Flushing was busted. 16 women working as prostitutes there had paid thousands of dollars to come to the United States from South Korea and China. They were working off their debt.
Some say that using illegal immigrant workers can have an upside. A worker in the Flamingo Café on Northern Boulevard who did not want to be identified said, “I think for certain businesses that don’t make a lot of money, illegal workers can be beneficial. I don’t think they should stop letting immigrants in because that is what this country is all about.”