Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Should we be rebuilding on the backs of illegals?

NOLA.com: Times-Picayune Updates:
"Illegal immigrants make up about one-fourth of the laborers rebuilding the New Orleans area, according to a study that also suggests they are less likely than their documented counterparts to get protective gear and be informed about health hazards such as asbestos and mold.

These workers are paid about 40 percent less than legal laborers, and they are much less likely to get help for medical problems, according to the report released by Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley.
This article makes clear why the immigration debate is so complicated in the country. Contractors NEED the cheap labor labor. Any reform ought to extend workplace protection to immigrants, provide a path toward citizenship, guarantee at least a mimimum wage, let them contribute to Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits. It is shameful that New Orleans was first built on the backs of slaves. It shouldn't be rebuilt on the backs of abused, underpaid immigrants.

Here's the CBS take on the same report>

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