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Amnesty law passed -- and the lawn still got mowed

Amnesty law passed — and the lawn still got mowed

May 5, 1988: Landscape maintenance workers mow a large greenbelt area along LaBarca Street in Mission Viejo.

This photo by Don Tormey appeared in the May 12, 1988, edition of the Los Angeles Times. The photo accompanied an article by staff writer Eric Schine on the effects on businesses of the 1986 amnesty law:

When the new immigration law was enacted in November 1986, Ronald Marshall’s worst fears seemed to come true. For the next four months, Marshall said, he couldn’t find workers to fill six dishwashing jobs at the Mr. Stox restaurant in Anaheim.

Marshall, who owns the restaurant and oversees the hiring of its 78 employees, said applications for the jobs dropped from about 10 a week to about one.

But the problem didn’t last.

“Whatever it is that workers do to get around the law, they’re doing it, and the shortage is basically over,” he said. “There definitely was an impact, but things have swung back the other way.”

Marshall’s experience parallels those of hundreds of other Orange County businessmen who run both small and large companies.

In The Times’ executive outlook survey, 84% of respondents said the new immigration policy has had no noticeable effect on their businesses. The numbers are similar across industry groups. …

Schine’s full story Amnesty Law Didn’t Bring With It Labor Loss That Business Feared is online.

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