Immigration Issues Can Hit Limo Operators

Posted on March 8, 2017 by - Also by this author

(Flickr.com photo from jvoves) CC license here
(Flickr.com photo from jvoves) CC license here
For 25 years I made a living in central California where immigrants harvest vast fields of oranges, grapes, avocados, cotton, lettuce, carrots, onions, garlic, watermelon, strawberries, and tons of other fruit and vegetables.

This is a place where police chiefs and sheriffs publicly pronounce their commitment to provide police services to immigrants regardless of immigration status. It’s a place where they promise to never even ask your alien status if they dial 911.

My city is surrounded by small, hardscrabble towns with farm labor camps where thousands of immigrant workers live, spend money in their communities, and contribute to our local economy. Oh, and they rent limousines! Lots of them. They spend more money on a quinceanera than I spend on my house payment. They get three limos at a time. They charter party buses. They hire caterers, deejays, florists, photographers, bands, and security companies for the halls they rent. They make sure when you want a watermelon to enjoy with your 4th of July picnic that it's picked and shipped to your local store.

The best part about immigrants is they pay with the stuff we love: Green cash. Just in case the IRS is reading, I always deposited the cash and recorded it. Cash never has a chargeback. It never bounces! Cash is king.

Our new President wants to send all the immigrants "home" and keep the doors shut from others coming here and seeking a better life in exchange for their labor. On any given weekend, the revenue from immigrant families is an average of $1,500 to $2,500. I suppose we can just say goodbye to about $100,000 a year in the future.

I would assume all the cities across the San Joaquin Valley will experience the same in their market. This is where most of your produce comes from. I never thought I would see the day when an immigration issue would affect the limousine industry.

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