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As a long afternoon of work came to a close on a recent Wednesday, not a single table was taken inside Taqueria el Sol de Jalisco. Owner Ricardo Rojas walked out onto the sidewalk of Front Street, where a speaker sitting on a red metal bench softly played cumbia music. He stared out at the street as if trying to will a customer to appear.
Behind him, two signs handwritten in Spanish were taped to the bright white wall of his restaurant. Both were advertising jobs in the farm fields surrounding this tiny town in Tulare County, 240 miles south of Sacramento. Strands of paper with a phone number to call for work hung from one of the signs. None of the strands had been taken.