Illegals Thriving in Snow Storm While we sit and wait for jobs.

Tarsila Talarico, manager of the Baltimore center of Casa De Maryland, talks with day laborers who have found work because of the snow storms. About 500 requests for workers have been handled by this center and Casa’s four other centers around the state. (Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox / February 12, 2010)

Storms create a mound of opportunity

Immigrant day laborers have found work removing heaps of snow from roofs, walks

Pablo Loja was sitting in a conference room Friday at the Casa de Maryland immigrant center in East Baltimore, trying to remember the last time he had worked before the snowstorms came.

The 36-year-old Ecuadoran man smiled, looked at the ceiling, tapped his left hand against the long, wooden table. He tried to remember, but he could not. More than once he used the word difícil, which hardly needed translation.

In what is usually a slow time of year for day laborers – often immigrants, trying to pick up a few dollars painting, hanging drywall, doing carpentry, moving furniture or washing cars – the weak economy has made this winter particularly difficult.

Then Maryland was buried in snow, and phones at Casa’s five employment centers started ringing with requests for help – 500 between the two storms, said Tarsila Talarico, who manages the Baltimore center. “That’s significant,” she said.,0,133631.story


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