A few immigrants find work in Glenwood Springs area

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – At least 10 men out of about 100 legal immigrants who say they were denied work by a company earlier this month have found jobs in the area.Tom Ziemann, director of Catholic Charities, said the 10 met with Mexican consulate officials on Saturday and that they are now working. All the others have left the area.The remaining men’s eligibility to work in the United States has either expired or will expire soon, Ziemann said. He would not disclose where the 10 men are currently working. “Some people are still good until their (work visas expire),” Ziemann said. “But they are going to be illegal, now or sometime in the future.”Ziemann said that many of the 10 men who remain are working to repay loans they took out to come here. Those loans carry an interest rate of up to 20 percent per month, Ziemann said.”They had debts to take care of,” Ziemann said. The men, who turned to Glenwood Springs’ Catholic Charities for help, say they were promised work by the Texas company JNS Construction. JNS sent two buses to take the men back to Mexico Friday morning after the men waited in Glenwood Springs since the end of November. JNS reportedly said that if the men didn’t get on the bus and go back, they would become illegal by breaching a contract and could be arrested, Ziemann said earlier.John Herzor, of JNS Construction, told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Friday that he had made the men a cash offer and sent the buses to pick up 65 of the workers who remained in Glenwood Springs and take them back to Mexico. Many in the group came to the area so they could send money home to their families. The men said they could earn $10 to $30 a day in Mexico compared to $80 per day or more in the United States.”It is a sad situation that they came here with good intentions and wanted it do it the right way,” Ziemann said. “They made plans to earn money legally, and pay those debts and (help) their families.”Despite the situation, Ziemann said the 10 men who remained in Glenwood Springs and spent Christmas without their families remained in good spirits.”They are trying to do the right thing,” Ziemann said.Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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