DACA and kitchen workers


“It will mean that all those people will have to go back into the shadows,” Reyes stated. “It makes work more unstable. It increases the possibility of abuse by the employer, and it can also lead to lower wages.”

First I’m going to say I can see where this topic/thread is going to take a far more political rather than food related turn.

With regard to the article itself, I’m not really sure what point is trying to be made here. The quote provided really doesn’t make sense, DACA provided them “protections” from being deported, it really does little to nothing to stop them from being exploited in the work place.

As someone who has employed countless “illegal” employees the majority of which were of Mexican heritage I can tell you first hand, employers abuses continue regardless of DACA. The industry is comprised of illegal (often Mexican) work forces in kitchen across the country, in many times being paid cash and being paid less than the prevailing rate for the job should be. The reason why this exists and continues to exist is because there is a never ending stream of people who will do the job(s) for these lower wages. Never ending supply…thus artificially low wages will continue.

Also the reason why they get “working papers” is because included in that is a social security number, this way the government can now collect taxes on them. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s strictly a humanitarian effort…anyone can walk into a Social Security office and with little or minimum identification get a social security number.

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Sometimes we have to stir some stuff up!

Actually when I read the article, I was just thinking about the Salvodorean breakfast place nearby that I ate at recently.

From a practical standpoint, I am not sure if the e.g. Salvodoreans who are already here will do anything differently than before. I don’t pretend to know how many are here because of DACA. But if some of them are, I’d guess that some of them is just going to go underground rather than boarding the next plane home.

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I think it’s the difference between “do XYZ or you’re fired” and “do XYZ or I’ll have you deported”

Well I’ve been around a lot of restaurants and kitchens in my life, never ever have I known or heard of an owner/manager that ever threatened deportation. Fired, of course all the time, and like I mentioned the second you fire or lose one there are 10 ready to step in and take their place.

Deportation sounds like an empty threat. If the boss is employing someone who can be deported, then the restaurant sounds like it will be in some trouble for hiring illegals if the agents come and round the person up?

No, I’ve never heard anyone threatening deportation either, it’s hard enough to retain employees, nobody’s going to invite the INS into their kitchen! And around here, there aren’t 10 people ready to take every job - our construction boom has drawn a lot of labor out of the pool, there are fewer immigrants coming from Central America, and no one can afford to pay rent on minimum wage anyway. Restaurants are struggling.

Exploitation may already be rife, but wouldn’t you agree that an undocumented employee without DACA protection would be far less likely to fight back? If there is even less chance of consequences, the door is open for greater abuses.

It’s been a few years since I’ve actively managed any illegal employee and the political climate has certainly changed so I can imagine the threat of danger is higher.

In my previous experience(s) I think the threat of deportation was less than -0-. I was amazed at how resourceful the community is at staying off the grid /radar, while working/earning their asses off. They survived on about 25% of their earning and 75% went back to Mexico where it supported their often multi-generation families.

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