Lin-Manuel Miranda just released the music video of an iconic rap tune that features K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC and Residente
They got the job done.
More than six months after the release of “The Hamilton Mixtape,” a compilation of songs performed on or inspired by the Broadway blockbuster, the music video for “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)” has dropped. The hip-hop ode to the work done by American immigrants, which features K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC and Residente, didn’t appear in “Hamilton,” but takes its cues from “Yorktown,” which did.
Nonetheless, the mixtape debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart and “Immigrants” has become a sleeper hit of sorts, with those opposed to Donald Trump’s travel ban on select Muslim majority countries appropriating the title for placard signs. The video’s debut, which “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda announced on Twitter, comes at a timely moment. This week, the Supreme Court allowed parts of the president’s immigration restrictions to stand until it hears the full legal challenge later this year.
Regardless of which side of the immigration debate you come down on, it’s clear that the movement of people across borders impacts certain industries and Americans more than they do others. According to a recent study the Pew Research Center, the number one occupation dominated by immigrants? Beauticians, nail manicurists and their colleagues, with 63% of people in this field being foreign born. According to a much-cited 2015 New York Times report, the easy, minimally regulated availability of labor in this occupation has led to nail treatments in New York City costing only about 50% that of what residents in other cities pay.
Other occupations that count immigrants as a majority among their ranks include agricultural product sorters (60%), stucco masons (59%), sewing machine operators (55%) and agricultural workers (52%). About half of those employed as maids and household cleaners were from abroad. That said, Pew concluded that while the foreign born may dominate these half a dozen or so occupations, there is no major industry that employs more immigrants than American natives.
Immigration—both of the legal and illegal sort—has been in the headlines for much of the past two years. Proponents say that immigrant entrepreneurial vigor brings benefits that include the creation of new jobs, the provision of labor for menial tasks that Americans shun and better food. Those who support restrictions or a full clamp down say that they depress wages for low-skilled workers and can fail to assimilate.
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