Coming to Work
Hispanic Immigrants are Changing Mid-Missouri's
Hispanic immigrants are coming to Missouri, and they're
coming to work.
Domingo Martinez studies the Hispanic influx at MU's Cambio Center.
of these workers, newcomers
have jobs,” he says. “So
they are not coming just to see what happens, they are coming
Male immigrants used to come work in the U.S. and then go back
to their homelands, but lately workers bring families
and are coming to stay.
"Latino's that are coming are coming to settle
with their families and can contribute to the economy if they're
given a chance,” says Corinne Valdiivia
of MU’s Agricultrual Economic Department. “I think it's
really important for economic growth in our communities, economic
growth that is positive
they do stay in the U.S., most Latino immigrants are taking low
skill jobs that don't require
English, Valdiivia says. "Meat processing industry, the
service sector, landscaping, construction…very labor intensive
work that doesn't require a lot of education nor english ability."
Many of these Hispanics work in
mid-Missouri's meat processing plants, plants which statewide
bring in more than four hundred million dollars a year.
Tyler, head of Marshall’s Centro Latino, says
local towns benefit from the money immigrants spend in
They're spending it locally,” she says. “In fact
a lot of the families are buying their own homes here. They
here, they buy their
cars here, it's being spent locally."
Despite the sometimes controversial nature of the influx,
Valdiivia says that on balance, the new wave of immigrants
is a positive
for the mid-Missouri
"It's important to understand that they are not here to take away from the
economy but to contribute to the economy by the work that they do,” she