July 29th, 2010
10:05 AM ET

Video: Immigrant laborer for a day

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Immigration
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Mike S.

    I just watched Gary Tuchman's "Working The Fields" report. I've always wondered: if taxes are withheld from illegal's wages, how are they reported to the government without SSN's to link them to? Maybe you weren't referring to income taxes.

    July 31, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  2. Jim

    Gary mentioned in his report that these immigrants "pay taxes". I have heard that comment before from other sources and have always been curious about how "illegal immigrants" go about "paying taxes". Are they using stolen identities? Are their employers withholding but not submitting? What is the mechanism for them to pay taxes if they are "undocumented" workers? A real curiosity that I hope someone can explain. Perhaps Gary can do a follow-up report on that.

    July 31, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  3. Brandon Kerr

    My intelligence was insulted by this report! Do you really think Americans don't appreciate hard work? Do you really think that your report, which was very slanted, was going to make me feel sorry for people who've invaded our country and have stolen jobs meant for our young and those needing a new start in life? It's no wonder that CNN is becoming so irrelevant in the news industry.

    July 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  4. Bill Fay

    Gary mentions that day laborers are paid eight dollars an hour, what he doesn't mention is that in the laborers home country they would probably make less than eight dollars a day! They are here by their own free will chosing to work in the same summer heat that a lot of us do. Also he speaks to "Santo" who has worked in the fields for 32 years. Anyone that has worked in our country for 32 years and has not worked their way up out of the fields must be content, unmotivated or unqualified for anything else. They are welcome to work hard and make a better life for themselves here as all other immigrants have, and obviously need not worry about the federal government sending them home. Tell the whole story Gary!

    July 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  5. sangre sed

    I just watched this outrageous report. I am outraged by this incomplete report that Americans won't work the grape fields and illegals will. Is your point that Americans are too lazy to sweat and do hard labor? If it is you are absolutely wrong and you know it! Why does the report repeatedly say Americans won't work these grape fields but does not explain the obvious....Americans can't afford to work at these wages but illegals can because they live multiple families to a home in slumlord conditions, share rides and get free government health care and schooling to name a few differences-and don't try to tell me they pay all the taxes required. I know most illegals have learned to claim as many dependents as possible to exempt themselves from taxes..which numbers can never be substantiated by the IRS so it is a safe process for illegals.
    So the next time you make such an insulting claim (which reminds me of how many times President Bush also publically made this stupid claim about the American people that voted him in) remember that Americans will work any hard job as long as the employer is not too cheap to pay a decent wage that can support a LEGAL American otherwise please don't insult us and even call this slave labor a job! How dare you betray your fellow Americans with such dishonorable propaganda!

    July 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  6. sonoflegalimmigrants

    Gary Tuchman,

    This documentary is a very skewed view of illegal immigrants. Are we supposed to conclude from this documentary that the rest of us who came to this country legally should feel sorry for those who jumped over a fence and now work in the sun?

    The day worker you were paired up with has 5 children. Did you ask them if they get welfare and medicaid benefits? Both my wife and I are health care professionals and we are waiting to have maybe 1 or 2 children that we can afford to have!

    I have a suggestion: do another documentary in a different location...the labor and delivery floors of hospitals near the border. Much like where I trained for residency, you'll find illegal immigrants who are on their 3rd/4th/5th pregnancy, don't speak a lick of English, & expect the taxpayer to foot their bill.

    I can concede that illegal immigrants aren't a true threat to jobs in the US but this "documentary" is hardly even-sided with regard to their "plight".

    July 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  7. Kayla

    I am an American that does this kind of work for free all growing season long! My county is agriculture rich... monetary poor. I am part of a network of volunteers (95% white) that pick all left-over fruits and vegetables from the fields to provide to food banks, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and church groups to feed the needy in our county. My children also help. My kids would love to have this as a paid job but the farmers won't hire them. I don't really want them to have this job with illegals in the fields and orchards anyhow. We have been harassed numerous times just walking to friends and neighbors homes in the area. I think more Americans would do this work if not for the illegals. We have no problems with the legal immigrants in our area. They are our friends and neighbors. It is the transient self-entitled illegals that are causing problems.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  8. Mike

    Gary, why don't you come down to where I work and see all the jobs that Americans won't do? Electricians, painters, flooring....nice pro-illegal slant on your story dude.

    Construction & restaurants were a place a young person could go and work fresh out of high school...no wonder they have no work ethic, this is where they used to learn the importance of :getting to work on time, how to listen, take direction, getting along with your co-workers.

    And of course the wages are lowered because there are so many workers and a shortage of jobs.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  9. vicki bozarth

    Hi Anderson, Did you ask those day laborers what their pay is??? I can almost bet you it is way below minimum wage. Maybe that's why Americans won't do the job. The farmers are exploiting the immigrants. Americans might do the job if they paid legal wages!! A lot of companies that hire the illegals pay them under the table to avoid taxes!!! That hurts honest working Americans.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:13 am |

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