The Times Picayune reports on a study which found 1/4 of the labor force rebuilding New Orleans are illegal immigrants…
In more than 200 interviews conducted in March, researchers found that nearly half of the hurricane-repair workers are Latinos and that 54 percent of those laborers are illegal, making up nearly one-fourth of the workers helping to rebuild the area.
Although these people are not documented, the report’s data show they aren’t new arrivals to the United States even if they were not in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina.
So they haven’t been crossing the border to work in NOLA. But given the debate on illegal immigrants the study’s findings are certainly ironic. The study is yet to be published and there was nothing on how many illegal immigrants are working under federal contracts but one would think a number are. And given Bush’s disinterest in rebuilding and Congress’s lack of urgency and priority for rebuilding, perhaps the study’s findings supports the argument that undocumented workers are just “doing the jobs Americans don’t want to do.”
UPDATE: The Times Picayune reports progress on the aid bill in congressional conference comittee. The aid LA is seeking is included and intact in what negotiaors worked out in the committee. The House and Senate must still vote on the bill. This may come by the end of the week.