Friday, October 07, 2005

We're losing out at the top and at the bottom.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat who represents much of New Orleans, said they are trying to pressure federal authorities to ensure that government cleanup contracts use Louisiana labor. But private companies are free to hire outsiders, and state officials say they are powerless to do more than urge local hiring.

"Our position is, we want these businesses to hire Louisiana people first," said Ed Pratt, a spokesman for the Louisiana Labor Department. "If they are hiring out-of-state Hispanics, we can't control that."
Contractors are importing illegal low wage workers from Central America to do the clean-up. There are thousands and thousands of local evacuees who could do the job. What about setting up some temporary housing for them. If you can find room for illegal aliens to work, you can find places for Louisianans to stay and work and contribute to the local economy.

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