Friday, July 1, 2011

Alabama Doesn’t Learn From Georgia: Immigration Law Harms Disaster Relief | ThinkProgress

Alabama’s new strict immigration law may wreak havoc on the rebuilding effort and the estimated 51,700 jobs such an effort will create. The “strongest immigration bill in the country,” which Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL) signed on June 9

Although the funding for the law has not yet been procured, the threat is still enough to send immigrant workers out of the state in droves. And unfortunately for the disaster-stricken residents of Tuscaloosa and the surrounding counties, “Hispanic workers, documented and undocumented, dominate anything to do with masonry, concrete, framing, roofing, and landscaping,” local contractor Bob McNelly said.

This looming disaster for the Alabama construction industry follows closely on the heels of a dire labor shortage in Georgia’s agricultural sector, which is attributed to the state’s strict new immigration law that takes effect today. Around 11,000 jobs have gone unfilled, even though the state’s unemployment rate is above the national average at 9.8 percent, and the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association has estimated that around $300 million in profits have been left to rot in the fields.

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