See an interesting article published online by The New York Times today on the claim made by local Black American workers that large farms (such as the one in Georgia pictured in the newspaper which grows onions) prefer employing Mexican workers because they can exploit them.  They contend that they are illegally discouraged from applying for work and treated shabbily by farmers who prefer the foreigners for their malleability.”

Said one worker: “They like the Mexicans because they are scared and will do anything they tell them to.”   

This tension exists when the unemployment rate is high, so this may simply be crass economics at work. This is a real hot button issue for labor lawyers (and economists) on either side of the table.