California is particularly dependent on immigrants and on undocumented workers not only because of its southern border but also because the state is such an expensive place to live and do business in, economists say.
“In the urban, rich economies of California, the high-end jobs are for U.S. born [workers] and the service, low-end jobs are for immigrants. Immigrants have adjusted to the high-cost environment, and that’s a way for them to absorb this cost,” said Giovanni Peri, an economist at UC Davis.
Immigrants tend to live in tight quarters and move around a lot in order to cushion the blow of expensive real estate in California’s biggest cities, something that native-born Americans may be less willing to do, Peri said.
“Americans won’t live three people to a room in San Diego,” Peri added.
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