"North, South, East, West ... a lot of people just come for the jobs," said Armando Oseguera, co-owner of Los Tres Amigos, a Mexican restaurant in Gulfport, Miss.
That said, Oseguera
counts himself a Southerner.He
arrived in Montgomery, Ala., from the Mexican state of Chihuahua in 1986 at age 16, when there were "maybe 20" Hispanics in the city, he
Nearly two decades later, he
is a citizen, married to an Alabama native, Leann, with whom he
has a son, 9, and a daughter, 8.He
has long had a passion for his
"The okra, the green beans, the mashed potatoes," Oseguera
, the Gulfport restaurateur, noted that since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, it has been much harder for illegal immigrants to obtain basic identification, such as a driver's license.
In the Hispanic community, complaints from natives about illegal immigration are viewed as hypocritical since so many in the South benefit from cheap Hispanic labor.