Illegal Immigrants Fight Their Eviction One Cab At A Time

When there's a detour in your route, you just take another one. The drive to evict illegal immigrants from the U.S. has seen its most famous policy manifestations in Arizona, with policies ranging from a controversial racial profiling law to the phasing in of a program called E-Verify. The latter measure mandates employers to scan potential recruits to confirm their immigration status.

While E-Verify has been embraced in other states including Mississippi, states have enacted other creative means to drive out undocumented workers. But now, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the workers are fighting back. Few states have seen an upswing over the last two decades in both their Hispanic and undocumented worker populations as Georgia.

In July, the southern state saw the activation of an anti-immigration law heralded as "one of the toughest in the nation," which empowered law enforcement officials to check suspects' immigration status, among other similar provisions. And embattled immigrants are responding to another measure that enables the police to comb prisons for undocumented individuals, therein creating a problem for any caught driving without a proper license.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the documented immigrant community of Gainesville has seized the opportunity presented by its undocumented counterpart, helping members get to work while keeping them away from the wheel. There are no laws requiring commercial taxi drivers to check the immigration status of their clients, and so the city's 177 licensed cabs, all owned by eight Hispanic-run companies, are fully within their right to shuttle undocumented workers. Of course, not all illegal immigrants are of Hispanic background, and any business in the city is going to want to tap into the community. As the Times reports, 42 percent of the city's 34,000 residents are of Hispanic origin.

No one presents the shuttling program as a panacea for either fixing the country's immigration system, or providing a completely safe haven for immigrants, as their advocates may want. But the plan is seen as a tonic among supporters of the undocumented, who bear in mind the backlash experienced by all Latinos.

"The problem here is, if you're Latino and you're legal, you still worry," said Jose Luis Diaz, owner of the Gainesville-based Fiesta cab company.

The Gainesville taxi-support system draws on a rich history of using transportation systems to bolster embattled minorities. There are very clear differences between populations who enter a country illegally, and those suffering from second-class treatment because of innate characteristics like skin color. But the history of the African American struggle saw many instances of both slaves and Jim Crow-era blacks fighting back via transportation. Harriet Tubman famously helped slaves arrive to the free North via the Underground Railroad. Of most relevance, though, is the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which saw the city's black residents create their own private cab system. The move was done out of solidarity with Rosa Parks, who had been arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. Indeed, it was widely said the city's officials only agreed to negotiate once their bus businesses were on the brink of bankruptcy over the loss of black customers.

The debate ultimately comes down to economics, as much for the undocumented workers entering the country as for that country questioning how the immigrants affect the economy. Many immigrants, both legal and illegal, take jobs that few native-born Americans would willingly occupy. For many immigrants, their hope is to make it in a new land, or send remittances back home. In fact, the State Department notes that every year $60 billion is sent from the U.S. via remittances to Latin American countries. In the case of the Georgia taxis, it's doubly beneficial for immigrants as the commute is being made possible by legal immigrants chasing their own dream. Diaz, of Fiesta cab, has used the money from his cab company to buy a suburban house for his wife and three kids.

Next: The Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Get With A High School Degree

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from Daily Finance

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Another update report on illegal immigrants struggling to survive in our nations landscape is herewith presented. This only serves to energize the wild and whooly right wing insects to whoop and hollar at these dispicables, all 14 million of them. They should all be corralled, they maintain, and given the old "vamoose".

In the crulist of ways these American vermon, rather than show compassion and sympathy, negate, belittle, discriminate, and disparage our brother humane beings who just happen to be here illegally. Most of these undocumented are young males for only the hardy, vigorous, and robust can survive the inordinate struggles and unimagianitive suffering as they cross rivers, seas, desserts, steep mountains, and compressed transportation systems. They confront robbers, thieves, and killers, and many die or are brutally injured. In their travels north they pay enormous amounts (in the thousands of dallars) to the coyotes, monies that they and their families have struggled to save, sometims over years, in order to afford their trip to "el norte". Many fail in their trip and return home broken, beatend, brutalized, battered, and broke.

Except for Native Americans, all of us are decendents of aliens from other countries. Today we have 14 million illegal immigrants (and counting) that reside in every one of our 50 states and possessions. It is an impossibility to think that we can round them all up and toss them back accross our boarders. Lets be intelligent here and come forth with a sound and sensiblle immigration policy that is humane and pragmatic. We have conquired the outer reaches of space, we have discovered and have had incredible breakthroughs in science, medicine, and complex technologies that even five years ago were thought to be inconceivable. We can indeed solve our immigration problems in a humane, compassionate, and benevolent manner. Lets come together now and do it! Its overdue.

Roy Jimenez

August 16 2011 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Transporting illegalsis a criminal offense. It is the same as transporting anyother controled item .
This is not the same as racial profiling or a criminal restriction hey . The cabbies and the owners are taking a real exposure risk . If they suspect that the person being transported is envolved in anyway with a criminal activity.This is not a moral issue but a legal one.

August 16 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

TO: Sincarnate, no, in the illegal sense, I have never walked in their shoes but as a legal immigrant earning proud US citizenship the way it is intended as an honor and as a privilege, it surprises me that you, having parents immigrating from another country, has missed the point entirely. The focus is on illegal immigrants, so please stop grandstanding with points that are unrelated to the topic. All you've said has been said before and realized for centuries insofar as a nation of immigrants excluding Native Americans.
You're not helping matters by standing on an unstable podium telling anyone what everyone already knows. The ongoing problem with illegal's need to be addressed in a more reasonable fashion by determining solutions and adhering to the laws that make ours the greatest country in the world.

August 16 2011 at 6:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

the usa has had it...our ancestors came here and built a country....nowadays its not a country one goes to church...all business open on family time anymore...I dont know about any one else but looking for a job they want us to speak spanish..mosque's by ground zero...I think we have reached our braking point u can't bring this amount of diversity into one country and expect it to work, too many different more cultrue left here...everyone is griping about everything...

August 16 2011 at 3:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I am all for LEGAL immigrants who have learned English and have become a United States citizen having all the rights of a child born to US citizens however it is a crock to make a child born from an illegal female a US citizen. Its also absurd to even began to compare an illegal of any color to the plight of the blacks that were ripped by force from their native country & brought here to become slaves. That is where if you are born here you are a citizen originated from to make the black slaves US citizens. I say send ALL ILLEGALS back to Mexico immediately and all their kids as the parent made the choice to disobey the law and their kids are also illegals even if they were born here. The law has been twisted & bent to include Mexican illegals born here to be considered a native. Where can you go illegally, have a child & it is a native. IT SURE ISN'T MEXICO OR ANYWHERE ELSE!!!!

August 16 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

As far as I am concerned,as should be every American citizen: Just being here, they have already broken the law and should be ousted at once. I think every city in our country should do sweeps and every one the find taken to the border and dropped off to fend for themselves!( After all, they got here ok!) As for these women having 'Anchor' babies, i think as soon as they give birth we should load them up and send them back home: NO AUTOMATIC CITIZENSHIP" "NO FREE HEALTHCARE" "NO FREE HOUSING OR HOUSING HELP, OF ANY KIND!" "LINE OUR BORDERS- MAN TO MAN- SO THICK THAT THERE'S NO PASSING" STOP THE INSANITY!!!
I am positive that if our government sent surveys for border volunteers, that we could cover our borders sufficiently.
Every time I hear or read anything about illegals crying about "THEIR" rights, it just makes me sick as to what has happened to our country. Rights???? What happened to our rights?????

August 16 2011 at 2:22 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

First off, I am a citizen of the United States, but my parents were once immigrants in this country. Anyone who says that immigrants need to get out need to remember and REALIZE our nation is a nation of IMMIGRANTS. How people can be this cruel, is beyond me. You hide behind your comments and say the most ridiculous things when in reality most immigrants come to this country to seek freedom from their oppression in their own countries. have you people even walked in their shoes? no you haven't.

August 16 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sincarnate's comment

The debate is not for or against immigrants, it's for or against ILLEGAL immigrants. Yes, our nation is a melting pot of immigrants, but those who did not come here LEGALLY don't deserve to be here, get ANY services, and SHOULD leave!

August 16 2011 at 3:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Wealth Builder

As a black person I am offended every time I read that someone is trying to equate illegal immigation with the civil rights movement. Our ancestors did not come here illegally. We were brought here and fought our way to having equal rights. We do not have a country to return to only this one we were born in. I am all for the rights of those who want to come to this country legally but I do not support illegal immigration from any country and it is NOT a civil rights issue.

August 16 2011 at 1:54 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

Our soldiers are risking their lives killing illegal immigrants in the mid east and come home to America where we don't protect our borders and allow terrorists, illegals, druga and child sex slave deaers to come and go freely. POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY. Its no wonder why suicide amongst active military serviicemen has hit record highs on obamas watch.

August 16 2011 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply


August 16 2011 at 1:50 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web