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In the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, we find ourselves faced by a dilemma. There is a considerable amount of cleanup and rebuilding that must occur, but there are not nearly enough workers to take on the job. Historically, immigrants have played a big role in helping staggered cities back to their feet.

The reasons behind the workers shortage have been building up slowly for a long time. When there was a housing bubble that was growing, construction workers and skilled trade workers couldn’t keep up with the demand for labor. When the bubble burst and the housing market took a turn for the worst, many of these workers found themselves turning to other fields to find employment. Now that there is a great need again, the workers we relied upon before have moved on. For the residents of cities affected by natural disasters, the worker shortage is a disaster in itself.

Immigrants are important in the process of a city’s recovery from storms or other disasters. After Hurricane Katrina, more than a 100,000 immigrants, many of which were undocumented, flocked to New Orleans and surrounding areas to find work in reconstruction efforts. A decade ago, there was enough workers to help Louisiana recover. Unfortunately for Texas, it appears the relied-upon immigrant workforce may be drying up.

As immigration reforms seek to deport immigrants and prevent immigration from occurring, we are running out of people to take construction jobs. The anti-immigrant rhetoric is pushing immigrants out of jobs and out of the country. Without enough workers, American businesses are unable to flourish and grow. Immigrants support the U.S. economy in many ways, including helping with disaster relief efforts and rebuilding.

Texas faces a considerable challenge to repair the damage of Hurricane Harvey. Tens of thousands of workers will be needed in the area, and they will require undamaged homes and above-market wages to lure them away from existing jobs. The question remains, however—where will Houston find the workers needed?

At USILaw, we are committed to our immigrant clients. We understand the challenges you face as you navigate the immigration process, and our global immigration lawyers are here to help. Let our experienced team guide you and provide tested, effective legal counsel for your immigration issues. No matter how complex your case may be, we have the necessary experience to help you through.

Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation and begin your case.

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