Construction is a relatively complex process that requires an enormous amount of preplanning, permitting, design, coordination, processing, bidding, purchasing, logistics, and approvals.
Immigration too, is a complex process and since the early 1890s when my grandfather came over from Europe, it has become more complex with a multitude of different colors, countries, preplanning, permits, certifications, bidding, coordination, chain migrations, DACA, dreamers, education visas, visitation visas, enforcement and approvals.
The American media and the politicians from the President of the U.S. down to the local elected officials and law enforcement officials are involved in the issue, which, like construction, is complex and in the end, very personal.
Construction is directly impacted by this immigration debate and has been since the immigration Law of 1892, if not before. Today, the debate rages on. In the construction industry, we are in the midst of a skilled craft shortage and are scrambling to build the new buildings and infrastructure the expanded economy demands.
In response to the immigration debate and comments from the President and his “colleagues,” The New York Times published a lead article titled From Offices to Disney World, Employers Brace for the Loss of an Immigrant Work Force about the Haitian workforce that has major impact on the construction business as well. This debate comes in the face of the highest demand for skilled construction workforce and the lowest unemployment rates in the last 17 years.
The article illustrates some of the stories we hear from contractors every day. Both the construction labor crisis and the immigration crisis are looking for reasonable workable solutions.
We would urge the politicians to listen to the voices of the Construction Industry and to consider their needs and views as this next solution is fashioned.