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Friday, April 14, 2006

Immigrants Rebuilding New Orleans

From the Seattle Times:

Hispanic workers have gutted, roofed and painted houses, and hauled away garbage, debris and downed trees. Illegal immigrants have installed trailers to house returning evacuees at New Orleans City Park, their pay coming from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) subcontractors.

"It's all illegals doing this work," said Rey Mendez, a FEMA trailer subcontractor from Honduras.

No one knows how many Hispanic immigrants are in New Orleans, but John Logan, a Brown University demographer who has studied the city since Katrina hit, said, "There must be 10,000 to 20,000 immigrant workers in the region by now, and the number is going to grow."

As the Senate debates new immigration laws and marchers demonstrate across the country, these immigrants offer another reminder of the country's reliance on illegal immigrants from Latin America.

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