Carlos spit on the blacktop. The saliva sizzled.
“Whoooweee,” whistled his friend Hector. They were both languishing against an ancient oak, avoiding the sweltering heat in the shade of its expanse, watching their construction foreman and a pasty man in a suit argue. Hector took off his hard hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. “I swear it never got this hot back home, Carlos.”
“Probably because it didn’t. Least not with this kind of humidity.” He trailed off at the end, as the foreman looked like he was about to hit the man in the suit. “I think it happening again.”
“Aw, what? No!” Hector looked up and scuffed the dirt with the heel of his boot. The two arguing men walked to separate cars and drove off. “Not again.”
That was the third time in the last two months they’d had a job shut down on them. The American economy was falling apart, nothing was being built any more.
“I’m getting sick of this, man. We spend a week on a job, and it ends up costing us money.”
“That’s because you drink expensive tequila,” Carlos laughed.
Hector frowned at him. “Man’s got to have some standards.”
On the whole, Memphis officials have been unwilling to actively pursue undocumented immigrants in the area. Which lead to a booming hispanic population over the last twenty years. Unfortunately, as the housing boom ended and the bubble burst, most of the jobs the immigrants relied upon disappeared, and so did a large number of them, leaving a void that is only now beginning to refill.