Blacks Compete with ILLEGALS for Jobs

A Southern accent on day laborers
Stereotypes, language skills and the lowest price come into play as black Americans and Latino immigrants compete on an Atlanta street.

Richard Fausset



ATLANTA — Outside the Home Depot on Ponce de Leon Avenue, no one engages in theoretical debates about whether illegal immigrants are competing for jobs with Americans.

Here, the competition unfolds whenever a truck pulls into the parking lot, its driver looking for day laborers.

On any given day, about half of the 30 or so men waiting to pounce on those trucks are Latinos, many of them undocumented. But the rest are African American men like Sam Gibbs. One chilly afternoon, Gibbs, 47, sprinted like a teenager toward a red pickup, hawking his services to two black men inside.

“Take a brother with you!