EPISODE 6   |   NOVEMBER 29, 2018
TICKING TIME BOMB
Do illegal immigrants really just do the jobs Americans won't do? We go to the richest zip code in America to find the answer.
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EPISODE 6   |   NOVEMBER 29, 2018
TICKING TIME BOMB
Do illegal immigrants really just do the jobs Americans won't do? We go to the richest zip code in America to find the answer.
Share this Post
Red Pilled America is designed to be listened to, not read. Please reference and use the audio version for exact quotes.
Patrick Courrielche: You know those expressions you hear so often that you don’t even question their truth? We’ve all heard them before.
Woman #1: If you eat a lot of food and go swimming, you’ll get cramps.
Reporter #1: Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis.
Man #1: We only use ten percent of our brain.
Woman #2: You know Joe Scarborough is a Republican.
Patrick Courrielche: Or maybe it’s Joe Scarborough only uses 10% of his brain. Anyway, there are those sound bites we hear throughout life that get repeated over and over and over again, so often so that they just become the truth, whether they are or not.
I’ve been a bit obsessed with one of these sayings lately. It goes a lil somethin' like this.
Reporter #1: So you spent a year, basically going undercover doing a lot of jobs I think you could argue a lot of Americans wouldn’t do.
Reporter #2: Immigrant workers do the jobs Americans refuse to do.
Reporter #3: Immigrants are a way basically to take care of those jobs that Americans do not want.
Reporter #4: They take jobs that Americans largely are not doing.
Reporter #5: Would Americans really want to do those jobs?
Politician #1: Hispanic and Africans taking what are pretty tough dirty rough jobs because others don’t want them.
Patrick Courrielche: Once it’s put on your radar, you hear it all the time. But is it true? Do illegal immigrants really just do the jobs Americans won’t do?
I’m Patrick Courrielche and this is Red Pilled America – a new storytelling show. The is not another talk show covering the day's news. We are all about telling stories. Stories Hollywood doesn’t want you to hear. Stories the media mocks. Stories from everyday Americans that the elites ignore. You can think of Red Pilled America as audio documentaries. And we promise only one thing...the truth.
Welcome to Red Pilled America.
Patrick Courrielche: So, the idea for this episode came a few years back when Kelly Osbourne made a comment on The View:
Kelly Osbourne: “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet Donald Trump.”
Patrick Courrielche: Kelly made the comment during the 2016 election and it caused a minor uproar. She apologized, but it made me realize I’d heard a version of that comment many many times before, so much so that I began to take it for granted. But then I began to think about it. Is this true? Do illegal immigrants really do the jobs Americans won’t do?
I started a little digging to find the answer and it led me to some guys from Long Island. What I learned was eye opening because what happened to them could easily happen to just about anyone.
Suffolk County is not a household name to people who haven’t lived in New York. About 80 miles east of Manhattan in Long Island, the area advertises itself as the leading agricultural county in New York State with a farming community that has survived hundreds of years of development. But as unfamiliar as the name may be to most, the county includes one of the most well known regions in the world – the Hamptons – the vacation stomping grounds for the rich and famous.
Like most affluent neighborhoods throughout the country, the haves are separated from the have-nots by a kind of barrier, and in the Hamptons that barrier is New York 27, a highway that connects Brooklyn to the eastern tip of Long Island. The haves live south of that road.
Tom Wedell grew up in an area just north of the highway, in a city called Manorville. A stocky, medium height Long Islander of Scottish decent, Tom is 57, but with the head of hair of a teenager. Although he lived within walking distance of the well to do, he was anything but.
Tom Wedell: I come from a family of ten. Five girls, five boys. We come from a farm stand family.
Patrick Courrielche: From the time Tom was born until their passing, his mother and father ran a farm stand in West Babylon, a town just north of the highway and west of the Hamptons. His mom and dad would buy fruits and vegetables from local farmers and sold them through the stand. Like many working class families, they would put their kids to work. By the time Tom was old enough to carry a box – he was part of the farm stand crew.
Tom Wedell: It was one of the biggest on the island. And I worked on that farm stand up until the time I was 17 years old and then I realized I could get a job and get paid.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom got his first paycheck when he caught wind that the father of a friend needed some help doing landscaping out in the Hamptons. At 17, he called the guy and got the job.
Tom Wedell: That’s how I started working out East. I started doing landscaping and stuff around houses in a development and I worked my way up. I got good enough at doing what I was doing, they let me do some more. I did some carpentry, I did everything. I did what ever needed to be done.
Patrick Courrielche: It wasn’t long until Tom broke out on his own. He’d become a small business owner – a big step for a guy that came from a working class family of ten, selling tomatoes from the age he could walk. He slowly built his crew, at one point up to a team of twenty-five guys working on multi-million dollar estates.
Tom Wedell: Construction. I had a construction company building houses. We did everything right from the ground up. They’d come and pour the foundations and we’d do everything else.
Patrick Courrielche: Most of Tom’s crew was made up of younger guys, including George Overbeck – who would handle a specific part of the construction job.
George Overbeck: I was a cedar roofing and cedar siding specialist… I specialized in Cedar so I always did high-end work. We’re talking million dollar homes and $30, $40, $60k roofs or siding.
Patrick Courrielche: The two became good friends, not surprising given their upbringings. Both were Long Island natives. Both from humble beginnings.
George Overbeck: I was 6, my sister was 4, my father had a heart attack and died. The only one that raised me was my mother. At the time she was just an aide basically working to take care of people….She didn’t have a lot any money. We basically lived off the system in a sense. My whole entire life I remember getting free lunch. Just hard times to the beginning to the end.
Patrick Courrielche: George grew up in Hampton Bays, a village just west of the popular luxury vacation spot Southampton, in a building that he said more resembled a chicken coop than an apartment complex. His family lived the kind of lifestyle where you’d be eating good on the second day of the month, but by the third things started getting tight again. George never had his own room. He slept on the couch in the living room, which doubled as the entrance room and the TV room. Their kitchen had a bar that was made out of a door…and that was their table. You get the picture.
As a kid George would walk down to the local grocery story, called King Kullen, right before closing time.
George Overbeck: There was a gentlemen, a manager at King Kullen in Hampton Bays when I was a kid and uh he knew how poor we were, he knew we didn’t have any money. And I used to go there like 8 o’clock at night when the store’s about to shut, and he would give me bags of groceries and stuff and I’d go and collect all the carts, and sometimes I would sweep the floors or whatever, but he would give me bags of groceries and I would take them home…
Patrick Courrielche: When he got old enough – at the ripe old age of 12 – he started looking for a job. George lived down the road from a burger joint in Hampton Bays called Slo Jacks. It looks kinda like a throw back to the days when you’d drive up and a waitress would walk up to your car and take your order.
George Overbeck: So when I was 12 I went over there and got a job cleaning the parking lot before school, and then during the summer times I would work cleaning the parking lot and then when I became 14, I started working like miniature golf course, which she has in the back, and started as a counter guy. You know I never got to cook of course.
Patrick Courrielche: Living like this grows you up quick. So at sixteen, George decided it was time to get a real job. He dropped out of school and moved to a town called Riverhead, which was on the other side of Long Island and started working for a landscaping company – basically cutting the lawns of estates. By the time he was eighteen, his younger sister started dating a guy whose father owned a cedar roofing company and was looking for guys to work. He offered George a job, and that was his entry into the construction business.
He’d later start working for Tom Wedell, but by the year 2000, for his New Year’s resolution, he decided to start his own roofing company. As the year 2001 came around, both Tom and George – guys who started with nothing, who’d worked manual labor jobs at an age when they should have been riding a bike – had hustled and scratched their way out of poverty to become successful small business owners.
George Overbeck: I had many guys working for me. I had a good-sized company. I worked for a lot of prestigious builders out here on the east end of Long Island from East Hampton to Bridgehampton to Southampton… I was doing quite a few jobs, probably banging out a house a month or something. Everything was possible and everybody was doing the right thing and I was happy about my company and everything was great.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom was in a similar place.
Tom Wedell: I was busy. I had my guys working. Everything was good. I really didn’t have much problems, ya know. Like I said, I’d bought a lot of equipment, everything was rolling good. My business was growing. My guys were working hard. Everybody was happy, ya know. The jobs were going good.
Patrick Courrielche: They were living the American Dream. But what happened next would change all that forever.
Patrick Courrielche: In the classic big screen thrillers, the villain often uses a pretty sick tactic to control his enemy - he secretly plants a ticking time bomb that threatens innocent lives. This twisted revenge seeking monster then sends a warning note that finds it’s way to the desk of a barely sober cop. We watch as this flawed hero goes from location to location trying frantically to piece together the puzzle – eventually leading him to maybe a crowded train station at rush hour. People roam the terminal, clueless to the potential terror attack, as the now battered hero sees a beat up leather briefcase through the crowd off in the distance. As the bomb ticks dangerously closer to zero, this disheveled, out-of-breath officer shoves people out of the way in a mad dash against time. The hero first fumbles, but ends up entering the right code to unlock the latch, and then carefully, hand trembling, reaches into the bag to pull out the green wire just in the knick of time. In the end countless lives are saved.
This act of terrorism is demented – but at least the villain gives his would-be victims a chance to survive.
Back in the real world, many think a kind of ticking time bomb has been planted throughout America – put there by men with power…looking to acquire even more of it. But unlike on the big screen, no clue is sent to the hero to find the bomb. There is no puzzle to solve that saves the day. The villain actually wants the bomb to go off. And when it does, it destroys American lives – that’s what Tom Wedell said happened to him.
Tom Wedell: Boom, one day, all of a sudden. Your guys are gone. I didn’t understand. All of a sudden. One night. I was destroyed in one night. I was destroyed. My government was not supposed to do that to me. That’s not right. It’s not fair.
Patrick Courrielche: The ticking time bomb went off for Tom about a week before September 11, 2001. At the time, he was about half way through a three-year job on an estate in Sagaponack – a village in Southampton. He remembers that day well.
Tom Wedell: It was in the morning. My guys had just started showing up. We usually had a little meeting spot by a barn that you usually came to first when you came down the driveway. We all met at the barn. And I dispersed my guys off, they were doing their thing working on the various parts of the house. And I guess about two hours after we started, the builder came, his name was Rich, and he had the homeowner with him and he didn’t have a happy face on him. And I was like what’s going on Rich? He said we have a problem Tom, and I said well what’s up? He said I’ve got a problem with the homeowner. She doesn’t like how much she’s paying for these guys.
Patrick Courrielche: Rich explained that the homeowner was going to replace Tom’s guys with her own guys. Tom was being fired. He pleaded for them to reconsider. He’d spent about a quarter of a million dollars on equipment to build his company, and had twenty-five guys who thought they had work for the next 18 months.
Tom Wedell: I said Rich man, I’ve been working on this job for a year and a half, there’s still over a year and a half left to go on this project. You can’t just let me go like that, I said how long we’ve been together. He said there’s nothing I can do about this Tom, the homeowner wants to bring her guys in here. There’s nothing I can do about it Tom. And that was it. That was the end. I didn’t know what to say to the guy. I really didn’t know what to say to him. I was dumbfounded. I was dumbfounded. I thought I’d get a couple of days to get my equipment out of there because like I said I’d been on the job for a year and a half, I had a lot of equipment over there. And I got there the next day to take my stuff off the job begrudgingly and low and behold there’s 20 guys on the job, all Latinos, and they’re using my equipment. It was the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe it. Not only were they stealing my job, but they were using my equipment.
I was just you know, I was dumbfounded. I just started grabbing my equipment. You know and they jumping off of that as I was grabbing my stuff. I was pissed. I was really mad. But I got my equipment and I put my tail between my legs and I left and I just tried to carry on, ya know. I tried to keep my guys working. I tried to get other jobs. I got a couple little ones here and there. But nothing that could sustain 25 guys working. Nothing.
Patrick Courrielche: The firing started a spiral for Tom.
Tom Wedell: I struggled for a long time trying to find work. I couldn’t support my guys. I had twenty five guys working for me at the time. Feeding their families. Paying their taxes. Doing the right thing. I was trying to do the right thing. And then boom, all of a sudden that hit. I’m struggling, I’m coming out east every day trying to find work trying to keep me going, trying to keep my guys going. And over a couple of years I just kept losing guys and losing guys. It got to the point where I had nobody left. It was just me, struggling trying to make it. Trying to live.
I lost half of the equipment. It really ruined my entire life. It really destroyed my life.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom saw no warning signs that the bomb was about to go off. He did slowly notice some Spanish-speaking workers on some of the jobs, but he really didn’t pay any attention to it. He was busy. His guys were busy. But over the course of a few years after losing that big job he started to put two and two together.
Tom Wedell: I’m looking at that 7-Eleven, I pass it everyday. There’s 200 guys, 300 guys lined up there everyday. Up and down the sidewalks, all looking for work. That answered my question of where all my work went to. These guys are stealing my work. They hire these guys for really cheap. They pay no comp, they pay no liability. I had to pay all that stuff.
Patrick Courrielche: These guys being illegal aliens…and there were a lot of ‘em. Suffolk County had been dealing with an influx of illegal immigrants for a few years. In the late 90s, when about 1,500 Mexicans made there way to Farmingville, a tiny village in Suffolk County, it sent the small community into chaos. Neighbors began seeing 20 and 30 illegal immigrants occupying a single home, and aggregating at the local 7-11 looking for work. Local residents complained of harassment and unruly behavior by these new invaders. Then an illegal immigrant killed a single mother while drunk driving, disappearing after making bail. But it wasn’t until a few of these day laborers were beaten up by some outsiders that it began to attract the attention of the media. The people of Farmingville were successful in blocking a city-sanctioned hiring hall for the illegal immigrants, but the problem only seemed to spread to other parts of Suffolk County.
Paul Forthmuller, a local at the time, explained why so many illegal immigrants were flocking to the area.
Paul Forthmuller: Yes, the explanation is this. You have a lot of rich people out there, with their park like grounds and mansions and so on, and these people you know they want to have their grounds taken care of, but they don’t want to spend the money to employ the correct people, American citizens. So they would always give the jobs to the cheapest guy.
Patrick Courrielche: After first finding agricultural and landscaping work, the illegal immigrants eventually infiltrated other areas. Painting, carpentry, and general construction. They began to change the economics of the town in other ways too. Already an expensive place to live – the day laborers made it even more expensive. When word of work in the richest enclave in America started to spread, illegal immigrants came out in droves, setting up hubs. First they’d make enough money to rent a house, then bring in 15, 20, 30 guys to live there, each paying say $50 dollars a week. If a landlord had the choice between a small family paying $2,000 a month rent and 20 guys paying much much more than that, which way do you think the landlord is gonna go? It's not rocket science to figure out the answer. Locals say the illegal immigrants drove up rental prices in the area enough so that a single working class family – now unable to find work – couldn’t afford the rent.
It wasn’t long before the illegal immigrants started to enter other areas of construction. That’s when the bomb hit George.
George Overbeck: I specialized in Cedar so I always did high-end work. It just slowly but surely, every time I put a bid on a job with another builder, they would turn around and try to bunch my price and use them as a wedge. This free, cheap labor.
Patrick Courrielche: The labor obviously wasn’t free, but they definitely worked for cheaper…much cheaper.
George Overbeck: And it was hard for me to compete with that. And slowly as I went from 15, to 10, to 6, to 4, to 2 guys, there was no way to keep up. There was no way to compete. It was impossible to compete. Because the army was vast and I was just a small company. So I basically started slowly losing everything. So when I hit rock bottom I contributed it to one factor, and one factor only. The fact of free labor, cheap labor. Maybe not free, but cheap labor.
Patrick Courrielche: Like many of the local workers, in early 2006 George left the state hoping to find construction work elsewhere. But when he got to Tennessee, he was shocked at what he learned.
He went down south. It only lasted two months.
George Overbeck: To make a long story short, I came back and it turns out that Tennessee was no different, and then New York or Long Island, everywhere you go it was the same story.
Patrick Courrielche: The so-called day laborers were already in other states. But what was most troubling was that Tom and George were experiencing this work shortage in one of the biggest housing booms in history.
House prices increased from 2000 to the summer of 2006, more than they did in the previous two decades. It wasn’t as if there was a downturn in the economy that was forcing a demand for cheaper wages. They also weren’t working in a town that was particularly cash poor. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Last year, BusinessInsider.com listed Sagaponack – that’s was the town that Tom and his crew lost their jobs to day laborers – that town was listed as the number one wealthiest zip code in America, with a median house selling at $8.5 million. The wealthiest zip code, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, during the biggest economic boom in an industry, had to find cheaper illegal labor.
Illegal immigration has changed the face of working class America…literally – and nowhere is that better illustrated than in construction.
California is the canary in the coalmine for how illegal immigration will affect the American working class throughout the country. In 1980, the percentage of Latinos working in construction in Los Angeles County was 24%. By 2015, that number had almost tripled to 70% Latino…an incredible shift in the workforce – and it’s largely attributed to illegal immigration. These are the kinds of jobs that have historically lifted Americans out of poverty. And this wasn’t the only shift in the industry. From the early 1970s to 2016, American construction workers wages have declined by almost 20%. For all of the talk that immigration creates prosperity in America – the Golden State completely debunks that myth. Even with industries like Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and aerospace titans like SpaceX, California is now the poverty capital of the US. Los Angeles has seen a 75% surge in homelessness over the past six years. San Francisco even has maps to avoid homeless feces. And reliable Republican enclaves like Orange County have been faced with this problem as well. With residents of Irvine County recently organizing to block the erection of tent cities for the homeless in their town.
What this massive influx of illegal immigration has done is increase the wealth gap, providing near slave labor to the world’s richest populations – all while driving down wages, and in some cities closing off a major pathway out of poverty for America’s working class.
This is what Tom Wedell and George Overbeck faced when they came back together in 2006.
Around that time Tom Wedell protested a chemical fertilizer plant and successfully shut it down. So when George and him started talking about what could be done to deal with all of the illegal immigrants lining up at the Southampton 7-11 stealing their work, it was obvious what they should do.
Tom Wedell: And I went out there with a bunch of kids one day they said how can we do something about this, I said make some signs up and we’ll go protest. And so they did. We went down to the basement, bought a bunch of crayons, a bunch of paint. Made some signs up, went out to protest, just for a weekend.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom, like most of us, was taught, that if you have any gripe with the government, you should peacefully protest. And this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I mean, these day laborers were here illegally, right? It was illegal to hire them too, right? The government was doing nothing about the problem. It was a slam dunk. So they grabbed the signs and headed out to the 7-11. But when they got out to protest, they learned a new lesson. Instead questioning the illegal immigrants lined up on the sidewalks in the hundreds, the cops turned their focus on the protesters.
Tom Wedell: And soon as we started protesting, the police showed up they started taking our license plate numbers down after they found out what we were protesting about they took our license numbers down. They ran background checks on everybody that was protesting. They were just a bunch of kids. It really made me mad at that they were doing that, you know. And here these guys are standing on the side of the road stealing everybody’s work. They don’t even belong here. Not a one of them could produce identification if you tried. And it just, it makes me mad. I see these guys breaking the law. Here I am trying to obey the law, trying to do the right thing, trying to keep my guys working, trying to keep their families fed. And here’s my government telling me to shut up you can’t do nothing about it. These guys are here that’s it, get used to it. It really made me mad. That’s when I was determined right after that I said that I’m not gonna stop. I guess I’ve gotta stay out here until people recognize what’s going on here.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom and George became fixtures at that Southampton 7-11. The place was such a hot spot that the 7-11 received an award for selling the most cups of coffee in the United States. Tom became kind of the poster child for illegal immigration in the area. He took the fight to the the business and politicians supporting the day laborers. So many illegal immigrants were lined up on the street looking for work that the city tried something provocative. They started to make a drive thru hiring location on city-owned property.
George Overbeck: So it turns out the field next to the 7-11 they were going to go and turnaround and make a hiring hall and they were gonna make a place where they were gonna cut a curb and they were gonna put a U driveway and a couple trailers and basically contractors like me and all these others guys could walk in and say I’ll take four guys or I’ll take three guys or whatever and drive in and drive out like a McDonalds, like some type of a work McDonalds.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom remembers that day.
Tom Wedell: They tried to dig out the holes and get the driveway built. And one day me and my buddy George pulled up and they were digging it. I stepped right out of the truck and into the hole.
George Overbeck: I’ll never forget this, they were cutting the curb in the road and they were putting in the U in the hiring hall area, and my buddy jumped out of my car, I mean we didn’t even stop to park, he jumped out of the car, he jumped into the hole, and there was this machine this back hoe, and the back hoe driver turned around and spins around to get another piece of dirt and there’s my buddy Tommy in the hole. And he’s like you’re done here, you’re done, you’re not cutting this. This is not gonna happen. It’s over. You’re not doing it.
Patrick Courrielche: The site ended up getting shutdown for misuse of city property. The hiring hall never opened. But Tom was arrested in the process. It was one of many times.
Tom Wedell: They arrested me like four times on the word of the illegal aliens. Just saying I was standing too close to them. They didn’t like my flag. My flag would brush up against them as they were walking by and they’d call the cops on me and have me arrested. And they would arrest me. It steeled my resolve. Every time they did that it just made me have to stay longer. I’m not gonna go anywhere. I’m gonna be out here every day. I had to count up change. I had to count up change some mornings to make it out there with gas. It cost me around $7 a day to make it there and back on gas. Sometimes I’d just coast.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom and George did win the battle. They shut down the hiring hall. But they are losing the war. The illegal immigrants in Suffolk County are now firmly planted in the community.
George Overbeck: Basically, nothing has changed. They don’t have a location to do their thing except on the side of the road like they’d normally do and they’ll always do. But the thing that has changed, is they’ve come a long way my friend. They’ve come a long way. They’re not cutting the grass, they’re telling that guy over there to cut the grass. You know what I’m saying. Nothing has changed, except they don’t have the steady location, but they don’t even need it anymore because the bosses are them.
Patrick Courrielche: With guys like Tom and George and millions of others losing their jobs to these day laborers, how did this phrase – that illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t do – become so widely repeated? Well the day laborers had their own idea, and they shared it with Tom.
Tom Wedell: They laughed in my face, they told me get the hell out of here, George Bush already gave us your country, there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s what the illegals told me. Get the hell out of here George Bush already gave us your country.
Patrick Courrielche: George W. Bush no doubt played a role in spreading the message. He was one of the leaders that popularized the phrase. But the phrase has been used widely by both political parties – possibly more so by Democrats.
We are told time and time again – almost like an advertising slogan attempting to sell us something we don’t need – that illegal immigrants only do the jobs American’s won’t do. But the facts tell a different story.
Steve Camarota: We can actually look to find the occupations where there are no Americans working. It turns out that you can’t find them.
Patrick Courrielche: That’s Dr. Steve Camarota, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies. He actually tested the argument by looking at occupational data captured by the federal government.
Steve Camarota: So if you were to look total at the total number of occupations identified by the department of congress, there are 472 of them, only six are majority immigrant. And even in those six, 46% of the workers are still US born.
So maids and housekeepers in America you might think well gosh that must be all foreign born. It’s not. It’s 51% native born. There are 850,000 native born American who do that job. 58% of taxi drivers and chauffeurs are US born. 63% of butchers and meat processors, 64% of ground maintenance workers, and 73% of janitors are US born. So the vast majority of janitors are US born, but we still say things like that’s a job Americans won’t do.
Patrick Courrielche: This is why the claim that illegal immigrants only do the jobs Americans won’t do is so sinister. Our politicians have the data. They know the truth.
Tom and George got their start in workforce through manual labor. Working in farming. Sweeping parking lots. Cutting lawns. Trimming hedges. Then getting a break and working their way up in the construction business to become small business owners – only to have it all taken away by the guys just doing the jobs Americans won’t do.
Our leaders, especially the Democrats, continue to allow this ticking time bomb of cheap labor to enter the country because it gives them more power…especially in the near future when the new voting population comes of age. The change in public school enrollment in the Hamptons area highlights this point.
In Bridgehampton, public school enrollment went from 6.8% Hispanic in 2000 to 41% in 2017. In East Hampton it went from 18.5% to 51%. In Hampton Bays, where George grew up, it went from 16.1% Hispanic to 55% Hispanic. And in one Southampton school, north of the highway in the land of the have-nots, the school enrollment went from 10.5% Hispanic in 2000 to 71% in 2017. And this is just one of many many towns across America…going through the same invasion of illegal immigrants.
Suffolk County sensed the serious problem and in 2016, voted for a Republican for president for the first time since George H.W. Bush.
Tom wasn’t surprised when it went Trump’s way.
Tom Wedell: Oh my God, if you would have seen all the people for Trump when I held that Trump sign out there in Southampton. I had more support than you could imagine. I knew he was gonna win. When everyone was saying he was gonna lose, I knew he was gonna win.
Patrick Courrielche: Tom stopped protesting three days after Trump was elected, and is hopeful that the president will be able to enforce our immigration laws. Things have not been easy for Tom since his days of protesting. He’s had a hard time finding work, and his living arrangements aren’t steady.
Tom Wedell: I’m renting a house right now that I can’t even afford to rent. I’m almost out on this house now. But I’ve been going through houses that people have been in foreclosure. That’s the way I’ve lived for the last 15 years. I’ve been going from one abandoned house to another. One foreclosed house to another.
Patrick Courrielche: George was forced out of the roofing business, but his panting work has picked up since Trump's election. He is also hopeful that President Trump will be able to enforce our immigration laws – and he’s a guy that you can say puts his money where his mouth is. His wife was a Polish immigrant to the United States. They had a son. Then her visa expired. George decided he needed to practice what he preached. He sent his wife and son back to Europe to enter the country legally. But because she overstayed her visa by a month, they couldn’t immigrate to the US for five years. So George packed up and moved to Europe with is wife where they had two more boys – eventually coming back to the US after five years. He hopes our president is able to enforce the same immigration laws that were forced on his family.
George Overbeck: I voted for Trump and we stopped basically doing what we were doing because of the fact is that we felt like when we voted for Trump that we’d have a leader that was going to take care of this, and he wants to and he’s going to but there’s so many obstructionists, so many people on the wrong side of this coin that are stopping and affecting us the American people. Because I’ll tell ya, I’m angry still about it. And I’m about to go back out because I don’t want to become complacent and say I voted for Trump and that’s all I’m gonna do. I’m not gonna be like that.
Patrick Courrielche: It’s probably not a bad idea for guys like George and Tom to give Trump a little nudge because illegal immigrants are still taking jobs from the working class. Which brings us back to the question – do illegal immigrants just do the job Americans won’t do?
The answer is clearly no.
But if the slogan, because that’s what it, is a slogan - is repeated over and over again like a well-funded advertising campaign – it can infect even the strongest minds.
Donald Trump: The biggest problem is that you have some great wonderful people coming in from Mexico that are working the crops, that are working cutting lawns, that are doing a lot of jobs that I’m not sure a lot of Americans are gonna take those jobs. And that’s the dichotomy, that’s the big problem. Because you’ve got a lot of great people coming in doing a lot of work, and I’m not so sure a lot of other people are gonna be doing that work.