Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bunch of Mexicans Gettin' High

Sent in to us from the Swampscott Bureau, this reminder that Mexican immigrants don't just do the jobs "Americans don't want to do," but also the jobs we're way too chickenshit to do.

In the United States, Mexicans are hacking up the carcasses of cattle, picking blueberries and accepting other jobs that often don't attract U.S.-born workers. To those, add taking a squeegee to glass while resting on a rocking scaffold 80 stories up.

"The gringos don't work in dangerous jobs," said Ramirez, 60. "But we know if we get ourselves into the windows, we'll find something better. Better than here, at least."...

Hispanic window washers became the majority in the 1990s and now make up about 95 percent of Chicago's workforce,...

Mariscal's mother, Obdulia Correa, agonizes at home every day she doesn't hear from her son. One time she visited Chicago and refused to even look up at the Hancock Center.

"The other day he called me; he said he was on the 70th floor or the 80th floor. You could hear the wind, the noise. Ay, I can't take it," Correa said during a chat in her home, where her son's photo hangs prominently above the couch.

"I don't want to see it. I don't want to know about it. All we can do is ask God to keep him close," she said.

Eighty stories up is about as close to God as I'd want to get, really.

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