Letter: Illegal workers keep unemployment rate high

Published: Friday, Oct. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

As a Utah resident, I cannot get excited about the claim that U.S. home construction is making a comeback. Although it might be a true, my observation tells me that it does not benefit the American worker. This is why: I take long, daily walks in my peaceful neighborhood where I notice that the new homes going up are mostly being built by foreign workers.

Being Hispanic myself, I know for a fact that many of those workers are here illegally. Yet, the construction companies, in their greed, seem to disregard the fact that unemployment in this country is based on the status of native and legal American workers.

I am sure those who benefit by having a foreign workforce will continue these practices. It should be an individual effort to make sure we hire those who are part of the 7.8 percent unemployed in our country.

Ultimately, there is a strong suspicion that many of these foreign workers, precisely because they are here undocumented, do not receive the proper pay for their labor and, in many cases, are expected to work an excessive number of hours, among other abuses. I encourage Utah residents to be vigilant and thoughtful when hiring someone to work for them. This is one area where Gov. Mitt Romney has the right idea ?— penalizing those who knowingly hire undocumented workers.

Syomara Marinaro

American Fork

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