The Trump-set March 5th deadline for Congress to do something about immigration reform has come and gone. The President offered a deal that made the hardline folks who voted for him really angry. “A deal was possible,” said Charles Foster, Chairman of Foster LLP, one of the largest global immigration firms in the US, and who has been an advisor to three presidents on immigration issues.
Congress missed a chance. The primaries have started, a prelude to the mid-term elections later this year, and now both sides seem to have hardened their positions even though the President’s starting position had a little something for everyone in it.
Engineering News Record (ENR) says in the recent article, Texas Is Front Line of Immigration Reform Debate:
M. Ray Perryman, CEO of The Perryman Group, a Waco-based financial and economic forecasting firm, notes that, of the nearly 800,000 individuals in the U.S. now enrolled in DACA, about 124,300 live in Texas. But without congressional action, they face deportation when their work visas expire.
In a September 2017 report, The Perryman Group estimated there are about 250,000 undocumented construction workers in the state, about a third in the Houston area.
“Many of these workers are highly skilled and represent about 30% of the state’s construction labor force, with no replacements readily available,” said Perryman. He notes the risk to Hurricane Harvey reconstruction along the Texas Gulf Coast “as fears of deportation rise [and] it becomes increasingly difficult to access this critical resource.”
That sets the stage for not only an immigration debate, but also an economic crisis for Houston and Texas.
The Texas construction industry is dependent on the immigrant population both legal and illegal. Should any member of Congress or the mainstream media care to check out the ENR claims, they can “come on down to Houston to find out first hand.”