Not only should we send the illegals home, not only should we fine these businesses that turn a blind eye to illegal activity for the sake of profits, but people who knowingly hired illegals should be arrested for aiding and abetting. Period.
And I laugh at anyone who says illegal immigration is not tied to the housing bubble. Each is a cause of the other.
Whatever your opinion regarding immigrants who have entered the United States illegally, realize that if you are in the market for a new house, it's likely to take longer to build -- and cost more to buy -- if they are forced to leave the country.
The National Association of Home Builders estimates that 20 percent of the construction workforce -- about 2.4 million people -- is foreign-born. While it's impossible to know how many are undocumented, some estimates put the number at 50 percent or more.
Whatever the true count, builders across the country say illegal immigrants play an important role in a construction labor market that is already stretched thin.
An unknown number
Craig Havenner of the Christopher Cos., a builder in Virginia, has no idea how many of the carpenters, brick masons, roofers and other craftsmen who work for the subcontractors he hires are here illegally. Nor does Michael Fink of the Leewood Real Estate Group in Trenton, N.J.
But both builders say they'd be hard-pressed to deliver their products on time or at the same price if "illegals" were ordered to leave the country, as some federal legislators have demanded.
"We have the right to control our borders; every other country does and so do we," says Havenner, who builds high-end, single-family houses. "But we also need to realize we are terribly dependent on foreign-born workers. We can't be blind to that."
May 28, 2006
Posted by blogger at 5/28/2006