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Kill the Children

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Children are so small and supple, they make the best workers on dangerous jobs. And what’s a few dead Guatemalan kids……

The New York Times spoke with more than 100 child roofers in nearly two dozen states, including some who began at elementary-school age. They wake before dawn to be driven to distant job sites, sometimes crossing state lines. They carry heavy bundles of shingles that leave their arms shaking. They work through heat waves on black-tar rooftops that scorch their hands.

The rise of child roofers comes as young people are crossing the southern border alone in record numbers. Nearly 400,000 children have come to the United States since 2021 without their parents, and a majority have ended up working, The New York Times has reported in a series of articles this year.

The most common job for these children is under-the-table work in roofing and construction, according to teachers, social workers, labor organizers and federal investigators. Roofing is plentiful and pays better than many of the other jobs these children can get.

In New Orleans, Juan Nasario said he had been replacing roofs during 12-hour shifts nearly every day since he arrived from Guatemala four years ago, when he was 10. He would like to go to school or at least join a soccer team, but he needs to pay rent to his older cousin.

In Dallas, Diego Osbaldo Hernández started roofing at 15, after coming to the United States from Mexico last year to live with an older friend.

His jobs take him all across Texas, but his favorite place to work is San Antonio. “They are the shortest houses,” he said.

The federal government pledged to crack down on child labor earlier this year. But this roofing work force continues to grow as fast as children arrive, anxious to find a way to support themselves and help their families out of poverty.

Newt Gingrich is so hard right now.

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