The Washington Post

NEW ORLEANS — Josue Vega was one of thousands of immigrant workers who flocked to New Orleans in 2005 in hopes of finding a rebuilding job in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

He worked seven days a week and earned more than twice his normal earnings. But with work now down to three days a week, the 20-year-old is planning to go home to Honduras.

“My goal is to be here until November, and then never come back,” he said. “I’ve had enough.”

The stops and starts of the post-Katrina rebuilding effort, often due to bureaucratic delays in funding, still provided plenty of work to rebuild homes and businesses. But reconstruction work has slowed as projects are completed or transition to phases requiring highly specialized skills.

“In the immediate aftermath, labor demand was huge and few workers were willing to accept the labor and residential conditions that prevailed in the city,” said Elizabeth Fussell, a Washington State University professor who studied immigration after Katrina.

“Now there is less demand, and it is for workers with more skills and perhaps certification by the state. This translates to less demand for low-skill, undocumented workers.”

There are various signs of a city in flux. New Orleans building permits for the second quarter of 2007 numbered 338, for example, but fell to 169 by the fourth quarter.

One Response to “Immigrant workers in New Orleans Start Leaving”
  1. melodyNo Gravatar says:

    Haha, I clicked on the link to read more.

    Five immigrants interviewed by The Associated Press said ICE agents often patrol streets posing as contractors _ and then deport day laborers who hop in their trucks.

    Ya, invaders think they are super talented at hiding from the law, but haha when they want them they know how to catch them. I wonder if that is legal. Can the invader rights groups sue ICE for doing that? Is ICE allowed to trick them? Is ICE only suppose to ask them if they want to be deported and if they say no go away?

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