Houston Recovery: Building on an Illegal Sinkhole?



Hurricane Harvey’s vicious winds and historic floods had barely begun to abate before the cry went up: “Who will rebuild Houston?”

Calling illegal aliens “key” to Texas’s recovery, the Washington Post and other open-borders opportunists repeated the mantra that foreign imports are needed to do the work that needs to be done.

Be careful what you wish for.

The post-hurricane clamor for unskilled and semi-skilled laborers from south of the border is an eerie refrain. It’s an extension of the ongoing replacement of native workers, including subsequent generations of legal immigrants, with newly arrived illegal aliens.

Long before Harvey hit, two large Houston area businesses were charged by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with discriminatory hiring practices that favored illegal aliens. In both instances, the companies gave preference to Spanish speakers, even though the job duties did not require Spanish. A bakery settled its EEOC case for $1 million; charges against a local manufacturer are pending.

Now the construction trades in Texas, flanked by craven politicians, say imported workers (with papers or not) must be enlisted to do the heavy lifting after Harvey.

Growing dependence on illegal workers – typically cheap, marginally skilled and highly transient – has been destabilizing the lower rungs of the labor ladder for some time. Native workforce participation in that category is at low ebb precisely because the ranks of low-wage immigrants are at record highs.

Dependence on even more illegal labor comes with dangerous socio-economic costs. “This system threatens to create a politically and economically untenable cycle for lower-wage workers,” concludes a new report, “Low-Skill Immigration: A Case for Restriction.”

Policymakers in Washington, D.C., must shift course, too. Enforcing border security and shutting down the flow of low-skill immigration are essential to getting displaced Americans back to work.

Instead of pounding this country’s most vulnerable workers with still more illegal labor, reconstruction contractors in Houston must hire U.S. citizens, and pay them accordingly.

Otherwise, what’s really being built here?

About Author

avatar

Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)’s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

1 Comment

  1. avatar

    The “marginally skilled” phrase is an understatement. Many housing developments built in the last 20 years are now having major problems because of poor construction by illegals. Many developers are being sued to correct those mistakes, whereas it would have been cheaper to build correctly with skilled American workers.

    It’s just puzzling why blacks keep voting for the same mass immigration advocates who bring in foreigners to tamp down wages. Years ago a lot of blacks had their own small lawn maintenance services and were able to support a family on that. Now foreigners, frequently illegals, are doing those jobs at much lower wages. Blacks want the Democrats to “do something for us.” Start by demanding an end to mass immigration and stop being played for suckers by a party that could care less about you as long as they get your vote.

    Hillary was on Ellen Friday. Frightening to think that 80,000 votes in three midwest states were the difference between her running this government. Naturally, she complained that the GOP was the party of “white supremacy and misogyny”. Translation, she means anyone who won’t support her open borders agenda. As far as misogyny, it was her show biz pals who ignored the the decades long sleaziness of Harvey Weinstein, who was guilty of far more than making the occasional pass. Not to mention Hollywood’s long time excuse making for Roman Polanski. A brilliant director, but he gave a 13 year old liquor and raped her.