I don’t have a fixed opinion on the great immigration debate. But, I am interested in the lives of the immigrants. They work, in Jersey City, in places like this curbside used car lot along U.S. Route 1-9. I’m not even sure that this lot is legal, and I doubt that the proprietor cares.
Cheap, beat up used cars are sold all along Route 1-9. You’ll also find numerous repair shops for cars, busses and trucks. I see the Mexicans and Central Americans working the really tough jobs, like prospecting for scrap iron, which they pile in the back of rickety pickup trucks. At both ends of Route 1-9, you can find the immigrant who has staked out a vacant lot with a panel truck. He will line the fences with “oriental rugs” of dubious origin. For some reason, these guys always sell pink tricycles for the kids, too.
I grew up in poverty in small town Illinois. My folks both worked in non-union factories. Everybody worked at hard, dirty jobs that paid just about enough for survival.
The factories and repair shops along Route 1-9 bring back memories of those tough days. Like I said, I don’t have an opinion on the great debate. I do know that I’m glad I don’t work at those hard, dirty jobs. Did plenty of them when I was a kid... everything from shovelling cow shit to baling hay to manning a degreasing machine at a factory.