Immigrants' incomes take hit with economic downturn
As more Long Islanders are tightening their belts, those who work in service industries are also struggling financially. Many of those workers are immigrants.
Veronica Alvarado, a legal resident who lives in Oyster Bay, says her husband can?t get enough work as a house painter anymore. Bills for rent, medication and food are piling up, she says. Similarly, construction worker Joe Fuentes, of East Meadow, says his industry is being hit hard too.
Jobs traditionally done by the working class or the new immigrants to this country, like restaurant work, housekeeping or landscaping are drying up. ?The people don't have the money to spend,? says Hispanic community activist Luz Torres.
Torres says some immigrants are returning to their native countries, where the cost of living is cheaper, as the U.S. economy has turned sour.
There are no exact numbers of how many immigrants are leaving the U.S., but Mexican officials say they expect some 350,000 workers to return to their country in the coming year.