Many illegal immigrants are now security officers trusted with enforcing North Carolina's new bathroom gender laws, and many in the state are crying foul over the conditions that breed a preference for hiring illegal workers over North Carolina workers.
The state's woes are a classic example of unintended consequences: Faced with the high cost of policing bathrooms, public and private entities are hiring inexpensive contractors who then often hire illegal immigrants to enforce the state's new bathroom laws.
Under the states open record statutes we were able to see the actual contracts signed with various state vendors. When the contracts were analyzed, on average it worked out to $10 per hour for each contracted security officer, so after administrative overhead, the actual security workers may be lucky to be paid $7 an hour. The low pay fuels the hiring of undocumented workers to maximize the profits of unscrupulous contractors.
One worker who we will call "Luis", is from El Salvador and works at a city park bathroom in Asheville.
He spoke to this reporter and explained the lure of the job.
"Well it's only five dollars an hour and seven-fifty when you make overtime, but I do five or six 12 hour shifts a week and it all adds up."
Luis is also the father of two school aged children. When asked what kind of family time the long work hours left him, he smiled and said, "I work hard but make time to be with my family."
Luis has worked in construction and would like to get his contractors license when he gets citizenship.
For now, Luis sees the bright side of a job most in the US wouldn't take.
"I work long hours but the work is very easy, I've never had to stop anyone or question their birth gender yet. I can complete my online courses in business and English while at work and I can talk to my wife and kids by phone."