Employers Struggle With Hiring Undocumented Workers: ‘You Cannot Hire American Here’

The Pew Research Center estimates there are 7.5 million unauthorized workers in the United States concentrated in agriculture, construction and the hospitality industry.
Karina Perez for NPR

Like thousands of other restaurants across America, Lynn’s kitchen is staffed mainly with unauthorized Latino workers. She agreed to openly discuss this employment conundrum if NPR agreed not to give her last name, identify her restaurant, name the city, or even specify the type of cuisine. Like a lot of employers these days, she doesn’t want to attract the attention of federal immigration agents.

When asked how many eating establishments have undocumented workers in the kitchen in her Midwestern city, Lynn states flatly: “A hundred percent. You cannot hire American here.”

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