美华人职业介绍所:低端移民如何实现美国梦

2014-03-10 16:22:07 来源: 网易教育频道综合 举报
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《洛杉矶时报》近日关注了蒙特利公园市的华人职业介绍所的相关情况,曝光了职介所的经营内容和低端移民在美找工作的情况。

本文由网易移民频道独家翻译整理,转载请注明。

Steve Wang,左,与秦根星说话,在蒙特利公园市的星星职介所
Steve Wang,左,与秦根星说话,在蒙特利公园市的星星职介所

网易教育讯 《洛杉矶时报》近日关注了蒙特利公园市的华人职业介绍所的相关情况,曝光了职介所的经营内容和低端移民在美找工作的情况,是对庇护移民另一维度的展示,也是对中国人在美寻求“美国梦”的生动描绘。以下是网易移民频道翻译全文:

Wedged between a travel agency and a hair salon off one of Monterey Park's busiest streets, Honesty Employment Agency has no English sign.

在蒙特利公园市(Monterey Park)最为繁荣的一条街上,“诚信职业介绍所”(Honesty Employment Agency)的牌子就竖在一家旅行社和一家美容沙龙中间,没有英文招牌,一点都不起眼。

There one recent afternoon, three young men lounged on black leather couches, chatting in Mandarin about jobs in distant states.

一天下午,三名年轻人坐在介绍所内,互相用普通话谈论着其他州的工作。

"Dallas is very good, if you know a little English," said the owner, Mimi Chen.

“只要你会一点点英语,达拉斯很好,”这家职业介绍所的老板陈幂幂(Mimi Chen,音译)称。“我觉得没戏,我肯定会一无所获,”一名头发凌乱的男子回答称。

"I'm afraid it won't work out, and I'll end up going for nothing," replied one man with spiky hair and a shy manner.

The phone rang, and soon Chen was niftily managing two conversations at once, a cellphone pressed to one ear, a landline to the other. She scrawled job listings in one of the notebooks stacked on her desk. Everyone calls her "Sister Chen."

电话响起,陈接着两个电话同时应答,一边是手机,一边是固定电话。她一把抓起桌上的一个笔记本,草草在工作列表记下几笔。大家都叫她“陈姐”。

"I have a stir-fry cook right here. He can do any job," Chen said before handing the phone to the cook for a quick interview with a restaurant owner.

“我这现在有个炒菜厨子,他什么工作都能做,”陈姐简单介绍后,把电话递给那个厨子,与电话那头的餐厅老板进行了简单的应试。

Here in this bare room, where a map of the U.S. is one of the only decorations on the walls, a young man newly arrived from northeast China can find work washing dishes in Minnesota or Utah for 12 hours a day, six days a week.

在这件简陋的小屋里,唯一的装饰物是墙上挂着的美国地图。一个刚从中国东北来美的年轻人,可以在这里很快找到一份明尼苏达或犹他洗碗工的工作,每天工作12个小时,每周休息一天。

“老板们也是中国人,但他们却压榨中国人”

Honesty — official name: Xin Xin Service — is one of at least a dozen employment agencies near the intersection of Garvey and Garfield avenues that are gateways to a hidden economy, supplying Chinese-run businesses around the country with cheap labor.

嘉伟街(Garvey)和加菲尔德街(Garfield)的路口上,有十几家这样的职业介绍所。它们给华人业主直接提供廉价劳工,成了这种隐形经济的直接通道。

In an afternoon or two at the agencies, stories emerge of immigrant dreams that have dead-ended in short-term gigs as fry cooks, busboys, masseuses or nannies. It is a world that rarely intersects with mainstream America except through bargain foot massages or the General Tso's chicken served at small-town restaurants.

移民带着自己的梦想来到职业介绍所,想要讨一份厨师、杂工、按摩师或保姆的工作。他们与美国主流社会几乎毫无交际,除了在足疗店按摩或在中餐馆上菜的时候。

Some employers insist on a work permit or green card, while others will hire immigrants without legal status. In the lingo of at least one agency, "He has everything" means he has papers. "He doesn't have anything" means the job will be under the table.

有些雇主坚持要求雇工有工作许可证或绿卡,但不少人更喜欢没有合法身份的移民。业内行话称“他什么都有”就是有证件,“什么都没有”就指只能做见不得光的工作。

While they wait, job seekers vent about unscrupulous bosses and exchange updates on their immigration cases, many of them involving asylum. The agencies deal in possibility but also its flip side.

在等待期间,来找工作的人会一起吐槽无良老板,交流下自己移民进展。职业介绍所有时能提供合适的工作,有时也没办法。

Qiang Chen, 58, a veteran of the restaurant circuit who was waiting for a job in front of the Xing Xing Employment Agency on Garfield, shook his head and scoffed when asked if he ever received overtime pay.

58岁的陈强(Qiang Chen,音译)在餐馆打工多年。他在“星星中介”(Xing Xing Employment Agency)等着找工作。当被问及是否有拿到过加班费时,陈摇了摇头,笑了笑。

"The bosses are bad. They should treat other Chinese well," said Chen, who has a green card. "Instead, it's Chinese taking advantage of Chinese. There's no job where you don't work at least 12 hours, from 10 in the morning until 11 at night."

“老板们都很坏,都是中国人,他们本来应该好好对待同胞,”陈称,“但实际上,他们就压榨中国人。所有工作都会做12个小时,从早10点工作到晚上11点。”陈有绿卡。

Everything a Chinese immigrant needs can be found on this corner — an $8 haircut, the bread and noodle dishes of northeast China, dried sea cucumber to treat high blood pressure. A two-minute phone conversation at one of the employment agencies can be enough to secure a job.

中国移民可以在这个街角找到一切想要的服务——8美元的美发、东北的面条馒头,甚至还有治疗高血压的干海参。在介绍所聊上两分钟的电话,足以拿到一份工作。

“这些职介所加起来就是亚裔劳动力分配中心”

A few years ago, Monterey Park cracked down on the agencies for occupying prime storefronts reserved for retail establishments. Job seekers spilled onto the sidewalks, chain-smoking as they waited, said Monterey Park City Manager Paul Talbot.

几年前,蒙特利公园关闭了几家职介所, 因为他们占用了预留给零售店的一些好的门面。找工作的人涌出到路边人行道上,一边等还一边抽烟,蒙特利公园市政管理Paul Talbot说。

Now, most agencies are located upstairs or deep within shopping plazas, in compliance with zoning laws. About 20 are registered with the city.

如今,但多数职介所都位于楼上或者购物中心的深处,为了符合分区法。大约20家是在市里注册的。

At Xing Xing, handwritten signs advertised for a driver in Tennessee — paying $3,000 a month — and a fast-food cook in Texas, for $3,300. Another agency listed jobs in New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin. Out-of-state jobs pay more than local ones and often include room and board.

在星星职介所,一个手写的广告牌上标明,田纳西州的司机月薪是3000美元,德克萨斯州的快餐厨师月薪是3300美元。另外一家职介所列出了新墨西哥、犹他州、内布拉斯加州、科罗拉多州以及威斯康辛州的一些工作机会。州外的工作通常比本州的工作收入要高,而且通常还包食宿。

Workers foot the referral fee — typically, $40 for restaurant or massage jobs, $80 for domestics. Transportation costs are also the worker's responsibility, unless the job lasts at least six months.

求职者要付给职介所介绍费,典型的来说,餐馆或按摩的工作是40美元,佣人的工作是80美元。交通费用也由求职者承担,除非能工作半年以上。

"You can call from any part of the country to get a nanny or a restaurant worker sent to you," said Xiaojian Zhao, a professor of Asian American studies at UC Santa Barbara who has studied the employment agencies. "They are like labor distribution centers for the ethnic economy."

赵小剑(音),一位在加州大学圣塔芭芭拉分校亚裔美国人研究方面的教授,此前研究了华人职介所,他说,“你能从美国人任何一个地方打电话招收一个保姆或餐馆工,他们一定能给你找到,他们就像是少数族裔经济圈中的劳动力分配中心。”

“蒙特利公园市做为亚裔移民的传送口已经30年了”

Prosecutions of Chinese employment agencies are rare. But in January, agency owners in Houston were arrested on federal conspiracy charges, accused of providing jobs to immigrants from Mexico and Central America who were not authorized to work in the U.S.

华人职介所被控诉的案例很少。但今年1月份,休斯顿职介所的老板被逮捕,以联邦罪的名义提出控诉,控告他们给来自墨西哥和中美洲的无工作许可的移民介绍工作。

U.S. Department of Labor officials have visited the Monterey Park employment agencies to distribute information about workplace laws. Federal investigators have found that some Chinese restaurants that employ immigrants violate overtime and minimum wage requirements by paying a flat salary, said spokeswoman Priscilla Garcia.

美国劳工部的官员已经走访了蒙特利公园的职介所,向他们介绍劳动法方面的信息。联邦调查员发现一些雇佣移民的中餐馆违反了超时工作和最低薪资等要求,他们只给付基本的固定工资,联邦发言人Priscilla Garcia说。

The ease of finding work gives immigrants a measure of power. They can walk away from an unsatisfactory posting and return to Monterey Park to try their luck elsewhere. The wages, low by American standards, are still more than they could make in China.

找工作容易给了移民一定的力量,他们可以随时从一个不满意的职位上离职,然后返回蒙特利公园再找其他的工作。他们所得到的工资,虽然比美国标准工资低,但也比他们在中国能挣的多。

"Is room and board included? How much is the plane ticket? $200? One way? OK, that works," said a thick-set man in a yellow T-shirt and jeans, on the phone with a restaurant boss outside Xing Xing.

“ 包食宿吗?交通费多少?200美元?单程?好,可以。”一个矮矮胖胖的穿着黄色T恤和牛仔裤的人,在星星职介所外面跟一家餐馆的老板打电话。

The man, a recent immigrant from northeast China, had just scored a job in Pennsylvania, though he said he had no idea where that was.

他最近从中国东北移民过来,刚刚敲定了一个宾夕法尼亚州的工作,尽管他根本不知道那是在哪。

Nearly all the job seekers are Chinese, but some Latinos have discovered the agencies. On a recent afternoon, a trio of young Guatemalan men walked out of Yang Guang Employment Agency on Garfield, soon to start as dishwashers at a Chinese restaurant in West Covina.

几乎所有找工作的人都是中国人,也有一些拉丁裔的人找到了这些职介所。最近一个下午,三个来自危地马拉的年轻人从位于Garfield的阳光职介所走出来,他们很快将要在西科维纳的一家中餐馆做洗碗工。

"We have been the portal, the Ellis Island, of Asian immigrants for 30 years," said Talbot, the city manager. "We see people walking down the sidewalk with suitcases. They've just landed. I don't know how they get here from the airport, but they get here."

市长Talbot说,“我们已经做为亚裔移民的传送口30年了,我们经常看见他们拖着行李箱在人行道上走。他们刚刚抵达。我不知道他们如何从飞机场来到这里的,但是他们就是能到这里。”

“新移民来美不容易,我会尽力帮他们找工作”

Of the three employment agencies in a small shopping plaza off Garfield Avenue, Chen's is by far the busiest.

在Garfield大街之外的一家小型购物中心里有三家职介所,其中Chen家的职介所是最繁忙的。

Mimi Chen, 43, is a native of Hunan who owned a chain of nursery schools in China. Her wavy bangs and large glasses are old-fashioned, but her wardrobe includes flashy staples like a tight turquoise minidress and a zebra print cardigan. She says her clients came to the U.S. to make money, and she helps them achieve that goal.

陈幂幂,43岁,湖南人,在中国有拥有一连串的护工学校。她波浪大卷的发型和宽大的眼镜看起来比较落伍,但她的行头包含一些很时髦的东西,比如一条湖绿色的超短紧身裙和一件斑马纹的羊毛衫。她说她的客户来到美国就是为了赚钱,她会帮助他们达成那个目标。

"I will help them with their problems and create a road for them to travel," Chen said. "It's not easy for new immigrants."

陈说,“我会帮助他们解决问题,并未他们的未来铺路。(我知道)这对于新移民来说不容易。”

Chen said there is nothing illegal about her middleman role. If bosses violate labor or immigration law, "that's their problem," she said, while workers are free to refuse the jobs.

陈说,自己作为中间人的这个生意没有什么不合法的。如果雇主违反了劳动法或移民法,那是他们的问题,而且雇员也可以自由地拒绝这些工作。

"If you want to go do that job, go do it. If you don't like it, I'll help you find something else," she said.

“ 如果你想要做那个工作,就去做吧,如果不喜欢,我也可以给你找其他的工作”,她说。

Bosses are blunt about their requirements: only women, preferably pretty women, not too old, not from that province. Many deals are finalized with hurried phone interviews, so both parties rely on Chen's judgment. She dispenses advice as freely as jobs, often in a schoolmarmish scold, counseling immigrants to lower their expectations.

雇主的要求都是很直白的:只招女人,尤其是漂亮女人,不要太老,不是从那个省来的。很多交易都是通过匆忙的电话面试拍板的,所以求职者和雇主双方都依赖于陈的判断。像分配工作时一样,陈提供自己的意见也很自由,经常用女校长的责备语气,跟移民们说让他们降低他们的期望值。

"If this store is so great, why would they hire inexperienced people?" she told a woman hoping to break into the massage business. "So go there and learn something, then go somewhere else."

“如果这个店真得很好,他们为啥要雇佣没经验的人呢。所以,去那吧,学点东西,然后再去别的地方。”她这样跟一个想要进入按摩业的女求职者说。

Chen's matchmaking is not limited to jobs. For $2,000, she will venture into affairs of the heart.

陈做中间人不止是限定在找工作上。如果给2000美元中介费,她还会帮助解决心理上一些问题。

“在美国生活简单得多,在中国到处都要靠关系”

After several hours of waiting, the spiky-haired young man approached Chen's desk. He would give only his last name, Miao, because he had not yet received the work permit typically issued to asylum applicants.

在等了几个小时后,那名头发乱糟糟的年轻人挤到陈的桌前。他姓苗(Miao,音译),一年前从河北省来美,还没拿到工作许可证。

Since coming to the U.S. from Hebei province a year ago, Miao has waited tables at Chinese buffet restaurants in Nebraska and Owasso, Okla. The 12-hour shifts, for tips only, were too grueling. He wanted to try his hand at massage.

一年来,苗在内布拉斯加、俄克拉荷马的中餐厅当过服务员。每天工作12个小时,没有基本工资只有小费,他觉得太累了。这次,他想试试去按摩店工作。

"Can I get my wife and kid over here? If I don't pass my asylum interview, this will all be for nothing. Should I take this time to learn English?" Miao asked. But Chen was on the phone again and didn't reply.

“我能把老婆孩子接过来吗?如果我没通过庇护测试,就都白费了。我应该借此机会学学英语吗?”苗问道。但陈姐又打起了电话,没有回答他。

In Monterey Park, Miao stays at a "family hotel" — a boardinghouse, where the going rate is $10 a night to share a room with many other immigrants. From there, he can hop on a plane or a Greyhound bus at a moment's notice. He studied hotel management in college and would like to train as a nurse or electrician.

苗住在一家“家庭旅社”里,跟很多移民挤在一个屋子里睡觉,每晚租金10美元。他大学学的酒店管理,想当名护理员或者电气工。

"Life is simpler in the U.S. In China, it's all about guanxi," Miao said, referring to the personal relationships that are currency in Chinese culture. "You can't get a job without guanxi."

“在美国生活要简单得多。在中国,到处都靠关系,”苗称,“没关系你就没工作。”

A week later, he had given up on switching to massage. He found a job, through another Monterey Park employment agency, and was headed to one more buffet restaurant, this time in Denver.

一周后,他放弃了转行做按摩的想法。他通过另外一家职业介绍所找到了工作,准备去一家新的餐馆。这次,他去了丹佛。

祁梦真 本文来源:网易教育频道综合 责任编辑:王晓易_NE0011
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