Recession hits day laborers hard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The declining economy is hitting day laborers particularly hard.

The Tennessean in Nashville reports most are immigrants, some illegal.

They gather each day on street corners where people who need workers for the day know to look for them.

Victor Marquina told the newspaper there is little work these days, but life is better than in his native El Salvador, which he fled to escape civil strife.

Marquina said he buried a dozen relatives, including a brother, a sister and a son.

Megan Macaraeg of Middle Tennessee Jobs for Justice said the day laborers are "the new Americans," who wash cars, drive cabs and do construction work in better economic times.

Tennessee State University assistant political science professor Sekou Franklin said the laborers come from a working poor population and no one knows how large that group is.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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