We need to recapture that ethic and that commitment to real work. Blue-collar workers aren’t disposable costs, and until our industry abandons its obsession with short-term profit, the housing crisis will continue.
August 19, 2021
Fresh from his swearing in on Inauguration Day, President Joe Biden went to the White House and issued a long-overdue proposal for reforming the broken U.S. immigration system....
February 04, 2021
With the start of hurricane season, a reporter called to ask if we have the labor to rebuild from a major storm. My answer was immediate: No. Not even close. We still haven’t...
June 17, 2020
Some bristle at labeling construction workers as essential because many of them are undocumented. With Houston’s undocumented population running between 600,000 and 700,000, it’s likely that trades like construction, landscaping, elder care, utility work, highway work, farm workers, and others, have workers who are both essential and undocumented.
April 14, 2020
Immigration crackdowns will make Texas’ labor shortage worse. The ID and Tax program would issue five-year work permits to those who qualify — bringing them into our tax system and easing the burden on business.
July 15, 2019
News of the caravan of migrants coming up from Central America toward the United States has once again put the subject of undocumented immigration front and center just as voters head to the polls across Texas and the nation.
October 31, 2018
With a massive rebuilding effort set to get underway, the need is greater than ever for an alternative to deportations and a wall meant to keep out many of the very people who will be responsible for restoration of the Gulf Coast.
September 08, 2017
The Houston Chronicle published an article recently about our undocumented workforce, primarily in the construction industry, and it deserves an immediate response.The author laid it out very well. The undocumented workforce is and has been providing cheap labor for over three decades and they would be sorely missed if deportations continue without an immigration reform bill.But there seems to be a misunderstanding about the root of the problem. It’s not just that so many are in this nation without documentation. It’s that they have never been employees. The way most people employ them – including homebuilders who have very few if any skilled craftsmen on payroll – is as independent subcontractors.
March 02, 2017
President Trump's hastily arranged ban on foreigners traveling to the United States from select countries sparked protests, invited a court fight, and helped make the case for large-scale immigration reform - even if that last result was not a consequence he intended.During the campaign and in defending his most recent immigration actions, Trump repeatedly has made the argument that we need to know who is here and what their intentions are toward the United States. On that, he could not be more correct.But instead of governing in precisely the way that Republicans for years criticized President Obama - issuing executive orders only to have them quickly and aggressively challenged in federal court - President Trump could seize the moment of a unified GOP government in Washington and work with leaders in his own party to enact a meaningful and lasting solution. Without giving anyone a free pass, the time is right to identify and tax those who are now living in the shadows.
February 23, 2017