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They wait outside Home Depot in Tijuana, too

Workers lumped in with druggies in riverbed

Luis: "I've been forced to ask my nephew for a loan." - Image by Luis Gutierrez
Luis: "I've been forced to ask my nephew for a loan."

Outside Home Depot on Via Rapida in Tijuana, there are construction workers offering their services to Home Depot customers. Most of the workers are older and not eligible for most jobs the city can offer.

Eduardo Morales, 48, came to Tijuana more than 20 years ago. He got one job in a recent week where he earned the same money that he would if working in a factory, the most common job found in Tijuana.

Masonry, tile work, plumbing

“Yesterday I earned 1800 pesos ($90 USD)." This spot he waits at is next to Tijuana’s river pipelines where drug addicts have settled and steal equipment. “I know those of us here work fine, but these other people from the river consume drugs, and that’s why people have complained to the police, and then they come to bother us.”

Jose Luis, 61, tells another story. Luis used to cross the border and offer his work in Home Depot in Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach, but since the travel restrictions, he has struggled to cross, though he keeps a 619 cell phone number.

Electrician, block walls, floors

He used to earn $150 USD a day. “I used to cross every 15 days and that was enough for me to live in Tijuana. Now I've been forced to ask my nephew for a loan, but they’ve been struggling too. I had my own brand new truck for working."

"These other people from the river consume drugs."

Though he's older, the police have detained and robbed him for offering his work in that spot. “Recently the police are pushing us away from here. Because people from the river came here under the influence of drugs, the police take us all anyway.”

Luis decided to report the police officers to the police station and to local media. “They just came to mess with us, asking for 200 pesos to not take us to jail. We are construction workers; they just need to let us work.”

He regrets not saving his money when things were better for him working in San Diego; he claims to have nothing left but an arm that didn’t heal after a work accident.

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Luis: "I've been forced to ask my nephew for a loan." - Image by Luis Gutierrez
Luis: "I've been forced to ask my nephew for a loan."

Outside Home Depot on Via Rapida in Tijuana, there are construction workers offering their services to Home Depot customers. Most of the workers are older and not eligible for most jobs the city can offer.

Eduardo Morales, 48, came to Tijuana more than 20 years ago. He got one job in a recent week where he earned the same money that he would if working in a factory, the most common job found in Tijuana.

Masonry, tile work, plumbing

“Yesterday I earned 1800 pesos ($90 USD)." This spot he waits at is next to Tijuana’s river pipelines where drug addicts have settled and steal equipment. “I know those of us here work fine, but these other people from the river consume drugs, and that’s why people have complained to the police, and then they come to bother us.”

Jose Luis, 61, tells another story. Luis used to cross the border and offer his work in Home Depot in Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach, but since the travel restrictions, he has struggled to cross, though he keeps a 619 cell phone number.

Electrician, block walls, floors

He used to earn $150 USD a day. “I used to cross every 15 days and that was enough for me to live in Tijuana. Now I've been forced to ask my nephew for a loan, but they’ve been struggling too. I had my own brand new truck for working."

"These other people from the river consume drugs."

Though he's older, the police have detained and robbed him for offering his work in that spot. “Recently the police are pushing us away from here. Because people from the river came here under the influence of drugs, the police take us all anyway.”

Luis decided to report the police officers to the police station and to local media. “They just came to mess with us, asking for 200 pesos to not take us to jail. We are construction workers; they just need to let us work.”

He regrets not saving his money when things were better for him working in San Diego; he claims to have nothing left but an arm that didn’t heal after a work accident.

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