Case in point from the article:
Annette — who agreed to give only her middle name — owns a two-bedroom condo in Phoenix, which she rents out. Her last tenant, a smoker, just moved away, and in order to fix the lingering cigarette smell, she needs a paint job..
Annette's painter is not authorized to work in the U.S. In fact, he's not authorized to live here, either. His name is Raphael, and he's cheap. Annette says an American painter quoted her $1,200 for the job. Raphael charges $500.
Annette believes American prices are inflated, so paying Raphael the lower wage is justified
So Annette doesn't believe Americans deserve their standard of living- does she include her own family in that? Is she willing to lower her rent so that the poor illegal immigrants like Raphael can rent from her?
"If Raphael didn't come, he would work in a maquiladora in Juarez, and he would make $1 an hour or $2 an hour, whereas here he can make $500 in a matter of five hours," Annette says. "So I have no problem giving him the keys to this condo, because I know he'll do a good job."
Annette is breaking federal law. If caught, she could face a $375 fine. She's small potatoes to federal agents. But things are getting more hostile for people like Annette in Arizona. One provision of the state's controversial immigration law that went into effect last month makes it a crime to slow traffic while picking up day laborers. That's a common practice on some Phoenix street corners.
So let's do the math. Original American job cost, $1200. Annette's worst case scenario: $500 to Raphael, $375 fine. $875 is a lot less than $1200- so of course she's well ahead to hire the illegal immigrant.
I wonder if she'd care if the fine was $50,000?
But better yet- if she really wants to save money, why not learn to paint? I recently had to repair and paint my bathroom- so I asked my dad, a handyman, to help. Total repair bill $210, including a new fan/light/heat unit to prevent damage in the future. Doing the labor ourselves was the difference.