The Trump Administration's Immigration Policies May Tighten Construction Industry's Labor Shortage

January 11, 2018
U.S. Capitol
Photo: Pixabay

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Haiti and Central America may now lose their temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. The Trump administration recently said that roughly 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador would have to leave by September 2019.

Stan Marek, chief executive of Houston-based construction company Marek, told The New York Times that this decision to end temporary protections has come at the worst possible time, as Houston requires a massive reconstruction effort due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Even if workers stay in the states illegally, they would still lose their work permits. 

Mr. Marek has pushed on his workers’ behalf, even paying for a public-relations campaign to call for immigration reform. “If they lose their status — boom, we’ll have to terminate them, and that’s not much fun, telling a guy who’s got three kids in high school, all American-born, that he’s going to be terminated,” Mr. Marek said. “They’re good people, damn good people.”

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