Without Visas, Carnival Workers Are Trapped at Home in Mexico

7/22/2017 The New York Times

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Francisco Trujillo heads north each summer to do a job that few Americans want: a four-month stint operating carnival rides, mopping up vomit and sleeping in a cramped trailer with other workers.

His annual journey to the United States was a routine shared by many in the shabby city of Tlapacoyan, about 190 miles east of Mexico City in the hills of Veracruz state, which supplies two-thirds or more of the 7,000 foreign workers hired by America’s amusement sector each year.

This year, however, Mr. Trujillo, 32, is not selling tickets for the Super Shot vertical drop or doling out funnel cakes. Caught in a debate over how many visas the United States government should issue to seasonal workers, he is among thousands of Mexicans who are stuck at home, unable to get permission to work across the border.

“They say we are taking jobs from the Americans,” said Mr. Trujillo, who has worked the last four carnival seasons in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Carnival work is “really hard,” he said, adding, “Americans don’t want to do it.”\

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