One summer, early in my teen years, I got a job detasseling corn. I wanted a job so I could start saving money for college, and anyone could detassel corn. It was miserable, walking up and down corn fields all day. I had to be at the school around 6:30 in the morning, then the bus would drive us to some random corn field an hour or more away. I wore long sleeves to keep from being all cut up by the corn. First thing in the morning all the corn was coated with dew, and so my clothes would be immediately soaked and heavy. Later in the day it was hot, steamy, and eventually dry and dusty. I made a few hundred dollars that summer, and was grateful for it. The next couple of summers I got jobs babysitting and tutoring. Then I turned 16 and was finally old enough to get a real job. I applied everywhere; Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Blockbuster, Meijers, McDonalds, Burger King, Ritter’s Frozen Custard, The Dollar Store, South Bend Chocolate Factory, Tasty Freeze, random locally owned restaurants and stores, and at least half the stores in the local mall. I was 16, had finished my Junior Year of High School, a good student and willing to work hard. No one hired me. I called places back. I went and did several interviews. I spelled all the words right on my applications. I used good handwriting, and included a resume where they would accept one. I was willing to clean, cook, bus tables, whatever was needed. No one hired me.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2006 Goshen, IN was 19.3% Hispanic. I am an American citizen, I was looking for a job, and I was willing to work. I couldn’t find a job. The closest McDonald’s to my high school was staffed almost entirely by Spanish speakers. Many people I knew refused to go there because they couldn’t understand the employees so the service was horrible.