November 30, 2009, - 5:47 pm

“El Toro Blanco”: Remember All The Work Prez Bush Said “Americans Just Won’t Do”?

By Debbie Schlussel

Remember how President Bush told us we need to give amnesty to illegal aliens because they “do the work Americans just won’t do.”  It was bunk then, and it’s even more baloney now.   If Obama uses that phony-baloney excuse, he’s clearly not paying attention to the developments throughout the American landscape during his “economy.”


El Toro Blanco:

Donald Thee & Other US Citizens Seeking “the Work Americans Won’t Do”

I feel for these people.  They are clearly not looking for a handout and willing to do anything legal to survive.  And, while not emphasized in this article, they are still competing against illegal aliens for work on U.S. soil.

When mechanic Donald Thee used to arrive at his job every morning, he would glance at the day laborers gathering across the street jostling for work when a pickup rolled by.

Over time, he befriended some, buying them meals from a taco truck when they were hungry.

Three months ago, he joined them.

“That’s how quick things can change, especially in an economy this poor,” he says.

Thee, 39, was laid off from the gas station where he worked and needed a way to make money. He applied for jobs at more than 100 businesses – “even McDonald’s, and they’re not hiring,” he says – and finally decided to try to get pick-up work as a day laborer.

Thee’s story, like that of other U.S. citizens who never expected to become day laborers, is one of economic desperation. Job openings are scarce, so the unemployed are starting their days at busy intersections and home improvement stores where, if they’re lucky, someone will drive up and offer work that could last a few hours or several weeks.

Landing a job as a day laborer isn’t easy.

As the economy has soured, fewer workers get picked up, says Andres Tobar, executive director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, which runs the day-labor site where Thee and about 100 other workers converge each morning.

About 10 to 15 workers land jobs each day, compared with 40 to 50 a few years ago, he says.

At the WeCount! Community Worker Center in Miami-Dade County, Fla., executive director Jonathan Fried agrees it’s hard for anyone to get work these days, regardless of their legal status.

More citizens are coming to the center seeking work, he says, including people who had previously offered jobs to day laborers. “About a year ago, we started seeing contractors coming into the center and trying to get jobs themselves,” he says.

“Everyone’s getting limited work right now because there’s not much out there.”

Marc Maida, a U.S. citizen, has been visiting the center a few times a week for two months. So far, he hasn’t gotten a day-labor job.

Maida, 38, has been working on and off at his father’s painting and pressure-cleaning business for more than 20 years. Over time, business has dropped off, he says. “This year is the worst of all,” he says. “People don’t want to spend money to keep their houses up.”

He lost the room he was renting about a year ago and has since been living with his parents or on the streets, and is trying anything he can to get work, including temp agencies.

“There’s so many people looking for work, they just don’t have enough work to get everybody out there,” he says.

In Arlington, Thee has earned a nickname among the day laborers as “el toro blanco,” or “the white bull.”

“As one of the largest and strongest, I’m one of the more favorable workers,” he says, waiting for work on a cold morning in jeans and a leather jacket.

The Arkansas native is at the hiring site seven days a week at 6:30 a.m. and lands a job about three days a week, he says. Among the jobs he has done: installing a lock on a door, mowing grass, working on a home under construction and helping people move.

Since Nov. 1, he has been living in a homeless shelter and remains hopeful he can land a permanent job. The competition is fierce, though, even at the day-labor site. “There’s more and more American citizens out here,” he says. “The way this economy is going, more of it is going to happen.”


Growing ranks of U.S. citizens are heading to street corners and home improvement store parking lots to find day-labor work usually done by illegal immigrants.

The trend is most pronounced in regions where hot construction markets have collapsed, says Abel Valenzuela Jr., a professor of urban planning at the University of California-Los Angeles.

“You had many, many unemployed construction workers who found themselves without any permanent or stable work,” he says. “Some of them have gone on to seek employment by standing on street corners alongside immigrant workers.”

Day laborers gather at high-traffic spots such as busy intersections and home improvement stores, looking for pick-up work such as painting, laying bricks or landscaping. Contractors and homeowners describe the jobs and negotiate pay on the spot.

Valenzuela estimates the proportion of U.S.-born day laborers has at least doubled since he released a report in 2006, when his research showed they made up 7% of the day-labor workforce. At that time, Valenzuela estimated 117,600 people were looking for or doing day-labor jobs on any given day. Illegal immigrants were 75% of the day-labor workforce; the rest were legal immigrants.

“It’s becoming more ethnically diverse. On the corners, I’ve seen white people, I’ve seen African Americans and a lot of Mexican Americans,” says Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “When unemployment benefits run out, I expect to see more.”

Among the communities seeing an increase in U.S.-citizen day laborers:

* Tucson. Staff members at Southside Presbyterian Church, which runs a center where workers can connect with people offering work, have been seeing more U.S.-born people looking for jobs in 2008, says church elder Josefina Ahumada.”We would say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ and we would learn that this is somebody who just got laid off.”

* Arlington, Va. Construction workers recently laid off are showing up at the day-labor hiring site run by the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, says executive director Andres Tobar: “We’re seeing people who hadn’t come to our center before who are legally here and U.S. citizens, and who are skilled workers and can’t find work.”

* Los Angeles. Citizens are replacing immigrant day laborers who had trouble finding work and returned to their home countries, says Antonio Bernabe, senior organizer of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

So, remind me again, what is the current chic excuse for legalizing millions of illegal aliens?

It better not be the work Americans are desperately seeking to do so that they can prevent themselves from becoming starving and homeless.

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15 Responses

You know the worst thing about this ‘doing work that Americans [at least this slogan still makes a distinction between Americans and illegal aliens] won’t do is the way they brainwash grade-school children to buy into this nonsense. You have 4th and 5th graders admonishing ‘narrow-minded’ adults who “don’t understand”.

Little Al on November 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    This story just made me feel very angry.

    I am so sick to death of hearing this bullshit that there are jobs americans won’t do. You know it’s not true dammit! It’s the message to brainwash people so that they are discouraged from looking for work and collecting a check every month!!

    Americans WILL do the jobs if the illegals are deported. That’s the only way.

    Squirrel3D on November 30, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    And if you are a 50ish white collar guy, not particularly big or strong, no matter what you may know, you get in a line with 30 something big, brawny guys, who do you think is going to get picked. it’s happening here in Israel too. The Arab who cleans our building is no bigger or younger than my DH but he gets that work because it’s “Arab” work, not for a college educated Jew. Well excuse me, but politics aside, we college types like to eat and have a roof over our (graying) heads too. If we know we’re healthy and willing what’s not to hire? DH managed to get a job in the US during the Summer as a cleaner a few years ago. He Substitute taught during the school year. At first they weren’t sure about him but took him anyway. They couldn’t believe how much better he was than they young guys. Well, doh! Maybe Age does teach you something about the value of honest work and how to do it efficiently. Employers who use loopholes to deny older workers are doing themselves out of a great resource.

    mK750 on December 1, 2009 at 4:04 am

Anybody surprised about economic principles work? Anybody surprised that libs still want to expand illegal immigration?

Thinking One on November 30, 2009 at 10:19 pm

When my wife graduated from High School in 1970 she had $30 G in the bank (big money even now) all from picking apples and baby sitting. All the kids picked apples before and after school and on weekends. She loved it.

Brian on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I work for a general contractor in Texas, and without a doubt Mexican labor is a huge part of the industry. As a GC, we have almost no in-house labor and subcontract all of our work. Sure, there are companies that will go to Home Depot and pick guys up out front, but we only deal with legitimate companies. But at the end of the day you really can’t control who they have working for them – all we can do is make stipulations in our contracts, and most of all not promote or condone that type of behavior.

However, if we deported all of the criminals, more and more hard working Americans can take those jobs. Anyone who has taken an entry level economics course knows that eventually an equilibrium price for the labor will be established. In the meantime, legal citizens can do one of three things: 1) Do a job an “American just won’t do” 2) Find a better job/opportunity, or 3) Let themselves starve to death.

Hopewell on November 30, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Even with double-digit unemployment in the USA, it’s hard to understand why “undocumented” laborers would return to their own countries. Whatever downturns we’ve experienced here must surely be even more pronounced elsewhere. Or, could this all just be part of the insidious communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids?

baseboru on November 30, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    @ baseboru:

    Who cares what they want? They are criminals, and it is not up to them. They should be immediately deported, which we don’t do for some reason.

    Hopewell on November 30, 2009 at 11:38 pm

There’s a hard lesson here, which the mechanic in the story probably wouldn’t like to learn: Work is changing globally.
It’s tough, but a third generation mechanic may have to become a first generation IT or computer professional to survive.
Example:no-one goes to school for TV repair anymore, as we don’t buy repairable televisions.
Cars which once needed constant care from mechanics are now so advanced as to hardly need repair at all.
I’ve worked in different fields; for the last 7 years I’ve been sitting at a computer. I learned my lesson.

Douglas Q on December 1, 2009 at 1:44 am

A lot of people, primarily retired police/federal law enforcement folks, have taken their talents overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan because they can’t find work in their field(s) in this country. Contracting to the military seems to be the thing to do; both the work and the money are there but, what does that say about the state of affairs in our nation?

Pretty damn sad and, with this current administration of commie libtards, I see no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel (except the oncoming obama express to run us into the ground).

icenomore on December 1, 2009 at 2:05 am

Come to NJ where I find alot of people are comfortable collecting extended unemployment and there are plenty of unfuffiled jobs, granted they are in the 10-15 an hour range and match up nicely with whatever people are being given to stay asleep. Let’s see, collect UI for a year and work under the table or work for 20-30 and pay taxes? Hmmmmmmmm, tough one if you have zero pride.

Beirut Bear on December 1, 2009 at 9:57 am

Pres. BUSH June 2008; “I had to tear down the capitalist system in order to fix it” That’s a president whom we voted for with a republican congress and senate. He would’ve lowered capital gains, deleted the death tax’ lowered the income tax rate with little to no obstacles at all. Instead he increased spending to unprecedented levels and taxed the economy to the hilt. He should be taken to the Nevada desert and lifted up for crucifixion.We are left with lowered wages or no job at all competing with people who don’t belong here.

seahawker on December 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

“He applied for jobs at more than 100 businesses – “even McDonald’s, and they’re not hiring,”…”

I used to live in a nice suburb of Columbus, Ohio. The apartment I rented from went downhill in the 3 years I was there due to all of the illegal immigrants moving in. The majority worked at McDonald’s and Wendy’s. It was easy for them to pay the same rent that I did since there are 10+ illegals all in one apartment. One neighbor got deported and was soon back from his free trip to Mexico. That’s what happens…they get deported and just keep coming back. It is so frustrating. I am sure that there are plenty of Americans right now that would have no problem working at these fast food places or any of the other jobs that we “supposedly” will not do. Employers need to have stricter rules on hiring. No more tax id numbers or bogus SSN’s. Anyways,I got so fed up with all of the traffic and noise next door that I went to the apartment’s office to complain and here is what I was told – “We can’t do anything about it. We can’t ask for proof of citizenship during the application process because that is discrimination”. I guess all they care about is getting the rent…not who or where they get the rent from. Several months ago I moved to a place that has a stricter application process and the environment is so much better (and quiet!). One more thing…I have no problem with immigrants. My husband is from Europe and became a citizen last year…by doing things the RIGHT & LEGAL way.

Angela04 on December 1, 2009 at 10:21 am

One way to get these illegal day workers deported is to post police or ICE agents at all home improvement store parking lots and check everybody for their papers. Most of the illegal day laborers that weren’t deported won’t come back and people who are here legally have more of a chance to find work, even though it is temporary.

We must deport ALL illegal aliens now. I don’t care what people say about the cost or how long it will take. The cost is almost insignificant as long as we streamline the deportation process. And the U.S. will be in the black (or in the positive for those racially sensitive pricks) when you compare the cost of letting these illegal moochers collect gov’t benefits or deport their sorry asses. If our elected officials would have started deporting all illegals years ago, we wouldn’t have this massive problem today. And when they get deported, they should be placed as far south in Mexico as possible.

Jarhead on December 1, 2009 at 11:52 am

As much Lefty nonsense that Bush espoused, remind me again why they hate him?

yonason on December 2, 2009 at 9:43 am

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