Bloomberg to the Trump Administration: Stop Deporting Illegal Aliens, You’re Driving Up Prices on 3,000 Sq. Ft. Homes!!

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Last week it was CNBC complaining about immigration enforcement cutting into apparel and footwear retailers’ profits. Apparently, Bloomberg publications has now decided to throw its hat in the ring for dumbest article in the history of American journalism. According to Bloomberg Politics “Trump’s Immigration crackdown Is Making New Homes More Expensive.”  So, once again a mainstream media outlet is claiming that the safety, security, and economic welfare of the majority of Americans should be sacrificed for the benefit of illegal aliens, and the profits of unscrupulous employers who want labor at sub-par wages.

Bloomberg claims that, “…President Trump’s immigration policies have dried up the already stretched supply of Hispanic-dominated framing labor. That has driven up home prices by slowing the supply of new houses as well as raising the cost of building them.” Of course, what Bloomberg and other mainstream news publications don’t want to discuss is the fact that the prices for new homes have been kept comparatively lower because housing contractors have been all too willing to engage in unlawful hiring practices.

The net result of these shady hiring practices is a decrease in the wages of all construction workers. Construction in Los Angeles, for example, was a heavily unionized industry that was made up mostly of U.S. citizen workers. It produced good jobs that catapulted experienced tradesmen firmly into the American middle class. But then contractors started hiring illegal aliens to drive down costs. Paying lower wages and eliminating the expenses associated with healthcare, paid vacations, and other benefits significantly increased profit margins. Now, Programs and Results, Inc., a business consultancy for home builders, estimates that 14-25 percent of construction workers are illegal aliens. Its assessment is backed up by studies conducted by groups such as the Pew Research Center and the Urban Institute. And overall wages in the construction industry have fallen. Construction, extraction, and other industrial workers now make less, in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars, than they did 40-50 years ago.

If Bloomberg actually cared about Americans, it wouldn’t be whining about President Trump’s immigration policies. It would be denouncing the unscrupulous contractors who favor illegal aliens over American workers, and then exploit those foreign workers by paying them below-market wages. It’s not the Trump administration’s immigration policies that are hitting average citizens in the wallet. It’s the open borders mentality that has prevailed in both the White House and Congress for decades.

The best way to protect American pocketbooks is to secure our borders and deport immigration law-breakers. But in the bizarre world of politically correct identity politics favored by most media outlets, it’s illegal aliens, and people shopping for 3,000 square foot homes, not the blue-collar American, who are the victims. Hopefully, President Trump will ignore bad advice from the mainstream media and keep his immigration campaign promises.

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About Author

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Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats.He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

34 Comments

  1. avatar

    Solution: Anyone on government assistance that is capable of working is submitted to a work pool and the contractor gets to put and American to work.

  2. avatar

    I find that the contractors are using low wage workers and charging high prices, keeping the profit for themselves.

  3. avatar
    Robert K Pavlick on

    And if ILLEGALS are building homes , then they are taking away the jobs of professional US citizen carpenters and roofers and masons, aren’t they? I thought that ILLEGALS only wanted to pick crops !!!!!

    • avatar

      Robert nobody cared they were n have been invited in our country to work because they r excellent workers….

      Now we have been bad shape n look for a escape goat

        • avatar

          glad you understood it……well Gerald….it appears you have intellect issues n your brains does not function as that of a normal person…to be able to connect the dots…..

          BTW In English…….names start with a capital letter G”Gerald n Serlin” hahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  4. avatar
    Robert K Pavlick on

    What connection can ILLEGAL immigrants have to the prices of multi-million dollar homes? Unless they are being purchased by Mexican Drug Lords ?????

    • avatar

      Robert, Leland dies not know n is not aware if our reality.

      This has been happening as Mexicans per say we’re invited n hired low skilled jobs N they were paid the same as Americans n every body was happy n made money before September 11.

      I saw it myself in the Hamptons back in the late 80s. There never took the jobs from Americans but not enough Americans to take the jobs so they showed up to work in the summer so n go back to Mexico n they got paid the same.

      Leland is driven by propaganda n politicians that gives us Fake News

  5. avatar

    During the big recession lots of native born workers left the construction industry because companies hired only illegals who would work cheap, often being paid under the table. The native born workers moved to other jobs. Pay them enough and they will do construction again. Construction used to be a fairly well paid job. Those workers just can’t afford to compete with illegals who are living 6 to an apartment and send most of their money back to Mexico, where it is lost to our local economies. Also ignored is the fact that all this cheap immigrant labor has not produced cheaper housing. It now takes much more of the average worker’s income to provide housing than it did 30 years ago, whether it’s a mortgage or rent payment. Housing in New York City and Los Angeles is unaffordable to all but those at the very top income. And part of that is due to population growth driven by immigration.

    Bloomberg is very selective in what it presents. There was just another article by George Will attacking Trump on his “restrictionist” trade policies. What these “free trade” guys like Will and Thomas Friedman never mention is that the trade pacts they support ALWAYS result in HIGHER trade deficits than before they went into effect. Case in point, NAFTA.

    There is also a bit of hypocrisy in the coverage of the Houston flooding. Terrible yes, but it ignores how immigration fueled population growth has built over many of the flood plains around that city. Nor is this global warming. This is the first major hurricane [cat 3 or higher] to hit the US since Wilma in 2005. The flooding is because the storm has stalled between 2 high pressure ridges, very similar to T.S. Allison in 2001, which produced 40 inches of rain.

    • avatar

      Leland you are again off the bowl…. amazingly naive n uninformed n full of fake news……

      Construction illegals workers did not happen in 2008+ but 20+ years back……..

      When there was no American workers left….demand….n they were paid the same Americans, Mexicans n others THE SAME UNDER THE BOOKS!!!!!

      • avatar

        YOu are a lying sack of crap . Illegals infest the skilled trades and drive out American workers. What helps, of course, it that a lot of time illegals don’t get paid. That’s a great thing. Cheaters getting cheated. What’s not to like?

          • avatar

            PETER IF YOU’RE TAKING THE TIME TO TYPE, TYPE YOUR WORDS OUT LIKE N=AND R-ARE U=YOU. IF YOU NEED HELP SPELLING OTHER WORDS LET ME KNOW

          • avatar

            Well Nancy Welcome to the 21st century…..I can teach you Math, Literature, Cooking, Music, Politics. American and World History, Sports, our history also English Comprehension and Reading if you like…..and most importantly……today’s 21st century media and communications………..that is a norm and normal….your mind is too stiff..you should learn our American ways n b + flexible!!!

            You should make an effort to keep you mind young,,,,,,,thank you for the offer but I tend to get help from people smarter than I am that goes 100 times than you are….kind of you….

          • avatar

            By all means, the past paragraph is a fact, not intended 2 offend u at V…..just being honest.

            V = all in math

            However, I respect your way of life…..REMEMBER…live n let live…..The American Way…stretch your mind and re-invent yourself…move forward, do not remain stagnated…….

            You appear to be a beautiful woman at heart and if you did what I do for a living, and my circle, I have no doubt you would be as smart or probably smarter.

    • avatar

      N now blame population fir Hurricane Harvey hahahahaha hahahaha!!!! Not one ounce of American patriotism nor love to our land nor humanity….n full of hate. . !!!….you are a pic of fossil my fellow Leland n u still do not know it!!!!

      Which raised you? Did u grow up in an orphanage……..Leland wake up be an American . There are people dying n in distress in Texas n all u think is illegals….biggest idiot ever…!!!!!

      The illegals are done if the toughest n I would not be surprised they are helping us there unlike you unAmerican……

      • avatar

        I said that population growth, fueled by immigration, has caused a lot of lands that were formerly flood plains to be built on, and that concentrates the water into the developed areas. That’s true. A cow pasture absorbs a lot of water. Suburban streets do not. They create runoff. I said it was a terrible situation but Texas has had stronger hurricanes in the past. Including Carla in 1961 and 2 cat 4s that hit Galveston in 1900 [5000 dead] and 1915. Basically this storm will move not much more than a couple hundred miles in a week. Like Allison in 2001, that’s the problem, the rain, not so much the wind. Hate to burden you with so many facts for your undeveloped brain to process.

        • avatar

          I am sorry Leland but those highways and flooded areas……….were built long time ago and Nature
          also was has been there before us…….once this happens you will have flood……..tornadoes, storms….
          despite anything,,,,,,,,

          I guess that places my brains as Einstein compare to yours…but I am not Einstein and you are still an idiot. hahahaha!!!.

    • avatar

      Goo point, Houston has almost 600,000 illegal immigrants and is 3rd behind New York=New Jersey and LA=Anaheim in illegal population.

      • avatar

        Good point Cynthia….so who do you think will be hired to do the clean up……….cheap labor……

        It has always been that way in history….

    • avatar

      Goo point, Houston has almost 600,000 illegal immigrants and is 3rd behind New York=New Jersey and LA=Anaheim in illegal population.

    • avatar
      Marlene Hessler on

      Bloomberg obviously doesn’t give a crap that keeping the illegals in the construction industry destroys America’s interest in that field.

      It is TRADE TRAINING. American’s need more than colleges. They need to be able to learn trade skills and be able to start their own companies.

      BLOOMBERG IS WRONG ON THIS.

  6. avatar

    Could you prove it is the dumbest? if so I will believe you. So far Bloomberg has given these facts what are yours?

    Bloomberg makes sense. Same issue again there needs to be Immigration Reform. When a person gets a PhD the
    first thing it does it gets either facts/proof or generates one. To write articles without any facts or proof is simply Fake News.

    Bloomberg

    Last year, Jim Brown and other home builders around Atlanta could get a good framing crew at a rate of $3.25 per square foot. This year, the few framers they can find demand, and get, almost double that.

    “They can ask anything,” Brown said. “There aren’t enough of them left.”

    A high-end home builder who supported President Donald Trump last year, Brown said the president’s immigration policies have dried up the already stretched supply of Hispanic-dominated framing labor. That has driven up home prices by slowing the supply of new houses as well as raising the cost of building them. A 3,000-square-foot house that cost $9,750 to frame even late last year now costs $18,000, he said, while last year’s six-month supply of homes in the construction pipeline is down by half. And that’s even before Trump pursues promised trade rule changes that could drive up other home building costs.

    Welcome to the America First version of the American home.

    Since taking office, Trump has rousted illegal immigrants, overseeing a 145 percent jump in the arrest of noncriminal undocumented workers, and backed plans to squeeze legal ones by letting only English speakers in. He threatened Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto with a 35 percent tax on the country’s exports to the U.S., raised duties on imported Canadian lumber and continues to rattle China, South Korea and other parts of Asia with tough trade talk. All carry costs for the new U.S. home, a global melting pot of labor and parts. Trump’s policies could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a house.

    Start with the framers. They’re now the scarcest labor in the construction business, according to preliminary results of a July survey by the National Association of Home Builders in Washington. Seventy-seven percent of builders reported a shortage of directly hired framing labor, and 85 percent a shortage of framing subcontractors, an increase of 13 and 9 percent, respectively, from last July.

    The dearth of framers is part of a national shortage of construction workers that dates back to the recession. It’s gotten worse under Trump, because framing has one of the highest concentrations of immigrant Hispanics in the industry, said Mark Boud, a California-based chief economist for Metrostudy, which provides intelligence to the U.S. real estate industry.

    “It’s been especially potent this year because of the ongoing policy changes having to do with immigration,” he said. “We expect costs to continue to rise and that this will not slow down next year, as new immigration policies are approved and implemented.” Those policies include a congressional proposal backed by Trump that would cut legal immigration nearly in half and limit those allowed in to English speakers.

    “Immigrants who don’t speak English—that is the framing industry,” Boud said.

    Move on to lumber.

    More than one-third of the lumber in the U.S. is Canadian. In April and June, in the latest salvo in a long-running trade war, the Trump administration added tariffs totaling nearly 27 percent on Canadian lumber. The move will increase lumber prices, add $1,701 to the price of the average single-family home and may already be reducing supply, according to a series of NAHB reports.

    Builders who are struggling to find framers are now also seeing shortages of framing lumber: An NAHB survey published in July found more builders reporting framing lumber shortages than at any time since 2004, when the number of housing starts was almost twice as high.

    Then there’s hardware, flooring, steel molded doors, windows and what builders call “finishings,” the lighting, wall covering, fireplaces, countertops, appliances and other bells and whistles that go into a U.S. home. Nearly $11 billion worth of electrical equipment and household appliance imports were used in residential construction in 2015, according to the NAHB, which said even a 10 percent duty on those imports would raise the price of a home another $1,000.

    So what would it cost if home builders didn’t use imports?

    Taylor Morrison Homes, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, builds homes in seven states and provided Bloomberg with a list of components and their origins for homes in a development called Suwanee Green in the suburbs of Atlanta. A 3,200-plus-square-foot, four-bedroom home there, listed at $385,000 on the company’s website, is neither the cheapest in the market nor the priciest.

    The home’s framing lumber comes from Canada. Its nails come from China, which supplies most of the nails in all U.S. homes. The U.S. wood in its cabinet doors are held together with Asian hinges. A U.S.-made front door has a Mexican doorknob and a Chinese lock. Toilet bowls are Chinese, sometimes assembled in Mexico.

    Overhead lights are Chinese. The air conditioning and heating systems are made in the U.S. and Saltillo, Mexico, and parts of China, and the microwave ovens from across Asia. The kitchen exhaust fan is from Mexico. The granite countertops are mostly from Brazil.

    A contractor moves lumber for a house under construction in Louisville, Kentucky.
    Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
    Add up the prices for the Suwanee Green home’s imported parts—multiplied by how many are in each home—and the cost is nearly $15,000 less than if the same items came from domestic suppliers, according to a Bloomberg comparison. The analysis used import prices from big-box building stores, which are likely higher than what Taylor Morrison pays. It also excluded U.S. products with foreign parts or ingredients like steel, and didn’t account for the limited U.S. supplies of some components and the pressure that would put on price. Some U.S. makers of home finishings also now focus on the highest-end part of the market.

    The $15,000 is in addition to the $8,000-plus additional costs for framing labor reported by Atlanta builders.

    The best news for home buyers: Trump’s trade policies are unlikely to deliver a hit that high.

    Granite countertops come mostly from Brazil, for instance, because the slabs are 70 percent cheaper than U.S. granite and prettier, said Leo Chuahy of Stone Center near Atlanta: “It would take a pretty big duty to really impact that at all,” he said.

    A worker nails a piece of lumber to a wall frame at the site of a home under construction in Ellenton, Florida.
    Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg
    For most home components, it would be cheaper for U.S. builders to pay and pass along even the highest punitive tariff Trump has floated to date, than it would be to swap out its imported parts for domestic ones.

    A 40 percent tariff on the cost of the Suwanee Green home’s imported parts would add only $7,000 to the cost of the home, less than half the cost of switching the supply chain.

    The price of the home would rise, in other words, with little to no effect on American jobs.

    • avatar

      If you have proof this is false then I will believe you…..but this is extremely complex…..like outsourcing jobs etc…..all is tied up together……I do not believe it is a fact house prices will go up like landscaping a simple example….get rid of the experts-illegals nobody ever cared and now is scarce…to train new people until then will drive the prices up AND once go up they only go higher………….so wi or without illegals Matt your children and mine will have to pay more……