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Thoughts on Undocumented Workers


Lawn Care Employees Discussions

Discussions on lawn care employee related issues.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:08 AM
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Default Thoughts on Undocumented Workers

So I haven't seen this topic discussed on this forum yet. I'm interested in hearing people's thoughts on hiring undocumented workers and paying them cash.

Here in NJ, and a lot of other areas of the country I'm sure, almost every lawncare/landscaping company that I know hires illegal immigrants to some degree, mostly from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. From what I can tell, they are usually paid between $9 and $12/hour as laborers. They might get a few more dollars here and there if they stay with the company some years and learn to operate heavier equipment.

This is not an issue for me yet, as I work alone. However, in the past I've worked for other companies alongside these guys. Most of them work extremely hard, harder than most Americans I've ever worked with actually. However, there's obviously a moral concern to hiring an undocumented guy vs. a taxpaying American citizen.

In this area, though, it seems to me that once you need to hire a few guys, it's impossible to stay competitive if you don't hire the undocumented workers. If I don't do it, I know my competitors will. Most Americans I know don't want to get paid $10/hour, especially when there are taxes coming out of that money. So how can I survive and grow without hiring illegal immigrants as my labor force? Especially when, in my opinion, even if I pay an American $20/hour he's not going to outwork the undocumented guy getting paid half. And since I'd still be on every job, language barriers would not present a problem.

Thoughts? I'd especially like to hear the opinion of those who actually work in areas similar to mine. That is, metropolitan areas where the illegal immigrant population makes up a lot of our workforce.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:27 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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No. You really don't want to hear my thoughts on this...
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:24 PM
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Sure I would. I just want to know about the experience of others in this situation I never see anybody talking about it, but I know it's an unavoidable fact of running an LCO in New Jersey and other places as well.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:47 PM
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I think if you knowingly hire an illegal alien then you should lose your business. If you don't care about that law why would you care about the rest. You become a criminal in my sight and I won't associate with you.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:28 PM
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If you call an illegal alien an undocumented worker than lets call the crack dealer on the street corner an unlicenced pharmisit.

I think its wrong theres plenty of americans that need a job.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by element009 View Post
Here in NJ, and a lot of other areas of the country I'm sure, almost every lawncare/landscaping company that I know hires illegal immigrants to some degree, mostly from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc.
might be h2b's
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:55 PM
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I wouldn't hire an illegal alien.

I have sympathy for you though. Since your competition hires them it is tough for you to have competitive prices. You might have to choose between struggling and standing by your principles.

Some, maybe many, lawn care customers would like to know that you don't hire them so you could advertise that your employees are all legal to work here.

I live in the Southwest in a small town just 80 miles from the border.

$9-$12/hr! I call it a good month if I made minimum wage.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Rabbit View Post
I wouldn't hire an illegal alien.

I have sympathy for you though. Since your competition hires them it is tough for you to have competitive prices. You might have to choose between struggling and standing by your principles.

Some, maybe many, lawn care customers would like to know that you don't hire them so you could advertise that your employees are all legal to work here.

I live in the Southwest in a small town just 80 miles from the border.

$9-$12/hr! I call it a good month if I made minimum wage.
I would do your best and advertise that you use English speaking crew. I know this is later down the road for you but I know we have gotten jobs cause the crew speaks English.

It really comes down to you and the company you want to be.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:24 AM
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You should call your company something that has the initials I.C.E. and make an official looking logo. Then drive around the other guy's jobs and watch the illegals run.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:35 AM
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Well not really having that kind of problem up here.
I think that just because your from another planet shouldn't make you illegal.
although I do believe they should have the proper space travel documents when they arrive if they expect to work here.
I think it would be cool to work with a alien.
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