December 27, 2005

Politically incorrect topic of the day - Will the bursting of the housing bubble cause the illegal Mexican immigrants to go home?


Ok, let's keep this to a housing bubble context if we can...

My question, living in Arizona, the home of illegal immigration, is:

Will the Mexicans go home when the bubble bursts?

(Note that I'm saying "Mexican" not "Hispanic" because I'm specifically saying illegal immigrants from the country of Mexico)

With 40% of Phoenix jobs tied to housing and homebuilding, with obviously most of the people involved in actually building and remodeling homes Mexican immigrants (most non-English speaking, likely illegal) - when construction dries up, will they go home - Illegal Immigration Problem Solved?


In Arizona, The Arizona Builders Alliance said "64,000 of the state's 160,000 construction workers are Hispanic and estimates that 16,000 are undocumented" - and I'd say that 16,000 number is low by about 100,000 if you add in any job associated with home building and remodeling.

With 11 million to 20 million illegals in the US today, this could be a major issue and societal disruption.

Thoughts?

51 comments:

AmazingRuss said...

Probably not. These are the same folks that were working in agriculture before the boom. Farmers have been having a really hard time getting enough people, so there are plenty of jobs out there. They won't be making construction wages, but they will still make a lot more than they can in Mexico.

Out at the peak said...

The people who bought my house cannot speak English (they required a bilingual agent). The bank must have considered them high risk as they got a 7.1% loan even with $60K cash down payment. Some suspect that there are multiple families living there.

If their house value declines, I wonder if they will walk. I predict they will still stay in CA short of nuclear fallout.

ECOBUILDER said...

* Expect illegal immigrants stay in US for some time.
* Expect a crime rate going over the roof (car theft and burglary - up, up, up !!!)
* Expect new jobs in security sector
(home security, alarms, etc, etc.)

AmazingRuss said...

"out at the peak said...
The people who bought my house cannot speak English"

I remember hearing a radio program about how lenders were initiating programs to make house loans to illegal aliens. Seemed pretty daffy at the time...but I suppose they justified it somehow.

Around here I have seen a lot of little Guatemalan ladies driving Escalades and other such monster SUV's. I hear that the salesmen rook their husbands into a 6 year lease with nice payments...only the guys don't understand that they won't own the car at the end of that period, by which time the salesmen are long gone.

I suppose the home lenders want in on that action...nothing more profitable than a hard working, gullible person.

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Anonymous said...

California is going bankrupt!

Tom said...

I predict that cock roaches will leave before the illegal immigrants do.

AmazingRuss said...

99% of us are illegal immigrants, if you look at it from the perspective of the folks that lived here 400 years ago. No, we aren't going away.

Neither are the new ones...without them, agriculture will shut down in this country, and probably a lot of other industries that rely on people to do crap jobs for a low wage. It's a good thing construction is winding down...farmers out here in Calfornia were getting desparate for the labor. They can't pay more because their prices are controlled by a few supermarket chains and Wal Mart, so those illegals are all that keeps them in business, and thereby keep food on your table.

The vast majority of illegals are good, simple, hardworking folks (yes, I actuall know some, and have contact with others, and I'm WHITE!) The immigration laws need to be fixed so they can be legal instead of just having a blind eye turned to them as it is now.

aznycblogger said...

I believe illegal immigrants will stay after housing jobs disappear. There is a severe shortage in farming jobs due to illegals getting much better pay in housing. They'll go back to farming and other small odd jobs to make the best of what they can. As bad as it will be, it's still better than their options in Mexico. However, I also believe that loss of housing jobs for illegals will severely affect our economy and community here in the Phoenix area. There will be less jobs to go around and with the propsed new laws that will punish Americans for hiring illegals, many who've worked in the same job for several years will find themselves unofrtunately without a job. I think it will be devestating as many more poor, uneducated illegals will be unemployed but choose to stay in this country. Overall, I think the housing bubble bursting will negatively affect everyone, even those we're not "supposed" to talk about.

Robert Coté said...

99% of us are illegal immigrants, if you look at it from the perspective of the folks that lived here 400 years ago.

When the US sneezes Mexico catches cold and rural Mexico catches TB. It isn't true that 99% of us are illegal. What is illegal today isn't the same as being merely an immigrant in times past. Conflating immigration (past or present) with illegal immigration makes about as much sense as treating bank robbery as an undocumented withdrawl.

Illegal immigrants and their familes are marginalized already. In the tough times coming there will be a new embittered underclass that will turn openly hostile regardless of the truth of their circumstances.

A significant portion of the SoCal bubble is driven by population pressures so the results will be doubly perverse. The illegal portion of our residents operate on a largely cash basis and their savings are not exposed to financial manipulation at the same time their labor is already discounted near the lowest common denominator. The best, hardest working. most productive may return to their native lands but certainly the worst will linger to provide an increasing drag on the segments we are relying on to pull us out of the next downturn. No doubt their unfortunate underclass status will leave them in place welcoming a new formerly middle-class crop of FBs to their fate.

foreclose_me said...

I don't know if the Mexicans will just 'go home,' but I have been saying for some time that the Crash will be the end of White Flight and the beginning of White Fight.

If that translates into complete cut-off of services for illegals, massive enforcement (i.e. CaliforniaBorderPolice.com & the federal CLEAR Act), then yes, Mexicans will be going home. Just this week, MSNBC had a story about the Congress finally considering legislation to strip citizenship from illegal alien babies.

A misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment has allowed many of them to be considered citizens. If you strip them, that's probably around 40,000,000 Mexicans that will be going home. WOW!

Personally, I don't expect that too happen. I expect civil war.

Yes, California is probably going bankrupt. It is the illegal immigration state. You Arizonans just got around to Prop 200 in 2004. We did Prop 187 in 1994!

And no, Mexicans will not be going into farming. There is an order of magnitude increase in the number of Mexicans, and the amount of farmed land hasn't changed that much.

Agriculture didn't collapse when President Eisenhauer ordered Operation Wetback, and it won't collapse if we run a sequel.

Anonymous said...

Mexicans are strong and not exhuberant. If anyone goes to Mexico it will be whitey.

Anonymous said...

Mexicans will not leave when the crash comes. My parents came here illegaly 30 years ago. They cashed out a home they bought in CA and bought a nice McMansion in Tucson cash. I myself have prospered owning 2 home sin CA and a rental property in Phoenix. We may be illegal but we sure do inject the money we make back into the economy. Were here forever. To quote George Lopez, in 50 years a white dude will be cutting my lawn.Only in America!

Eastofwest said...

We can probably debate all day what we think should happen, but when there are little to no jobs ,the days of day laborers will be gone. If there are job lines ,and being desperate they will be fighting for their legal space in line.Congress is telling us already to be ready for shortfalls..sooner than later. If this really unwinds the lowest guy on the pole gets kicked. During the fat times we can look the other way, during lean we get hungry ,and mean....

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