What Would LA Be Like Without Immigrants? This Short Doc Explores a Grim Alternate Reality

Lead Photo: Photo by Itzel Martinez for Remezcla
Photo by Itzel Martinez for Remezcla
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As Donald Trump irresponsibly paints immigrant communities as criminals and threatens to deport millions of them to “make America great again,” he fails to mention the devastating consequences his impractical immigration plan would have on countless families, let alone on the United States as a whole. Earlier this year, non-partisan think tank American Action Forum crunched the numbers and found just how damaging it’d be to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants (spoiler alert: it’s not good). But this week, Los Angeles Magazine wanted to drive the point home and show how a country without immigrants would touch everyone’s lives, especially in LA and California.

In a short documentary titled What Would L.A. Be Like Without Immigrants, Los Angeles Magazine explores a grim alternate reality, sort of in the vein of A Day Without a Mexican. But instead of everyone waking up to find that all Latinos have disappeared and YTPPO have to cut their own grass, clean their own homes, and park their own cars, the short video features real people. In different languages, they explain the value all immigrants add to LA society and how the city would struggle without them.

With such a large immigrant community, 1/3 of Los Angeles’ population would disappear. This means that everything from construction to the food industry to the economy would be severely affected. The numbers are staggering. 76 percent of construction jobs in LA are held by immigrants. 42 percent of the state’s food prep and service workers are also immigrants. 94 percent of people who operate sewing machines also weren’t born in the United States. And undocumented immigrants pay $3.1 billion in state taxes.

And in case anyone still questions the value of immigrants, the short video ends with one powerful statement: “Without immigrants, there is no LA.”

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