There are so many hidden benefits to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, but one fact is already apparent to American construction workers — their paychecks are getting larger. Over the past year, construction wage rates have increased 3 percent, and the number of construction jobs increased by 16,000 in June, including 11,000 more specialty trade contractor jobs.
In a new report from Fox News, Texas construction companies acknowledged that the President’s strict enforcement of U.S. immigration laws is forcing them to pay higher wages to construction workers who are actually citizens of this country.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, more than 56 percent of developers nationwide are reporting labor shortages, because it appears that they have been keeping their costs down by hiring illegal immigrants.
“Half of the workers in construction in Texas are undocumented,” admitted Stan Marek, CEO of Marek Construction. “We do hear that there are a lot of undocumented workers that are leaving the state, going to other states that don’t have the anti-immigrant sentiment and many of them are going back to Mexico.”
This shortage of construction workers comes at a time when the U.S. housing market is expected to heat way up, if the industry’s recent better-than-expected earnings in the third quarter and rising stock market prices are any indication.
Ted Wilson with Residential Strategies, Inc. explained that new housing prices can be expected to rise with the increasing cost of American labor. “We’ve seen direct construction costs climb by over 30 percent,” Wilson said, “and a lot of that is directly attributed to what builders are having to pay their subs and trades in wages.”
Having relied in the past on low-skilled illegal immigrants to do the jobs much more inexpensively than the Americans they claim “won’t” do them, big business lobbyists and industry leaders have voiced their opposition to President Trump’s immigration crackdown. Because they have knowingly been driving down wages through illegal immigration, which is one of the many ways in which Americans suffer as a result of this practice.
President Trump’s most recent endorsement of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA)’s RAISE Act would cut legal immigration in half over the next ten years in the effort to raise the wages of U.S. workers.
The RAISE Act would also prioritize legal immigrants who can speak the language and have skills needed for the current U.S. economy through a merit-based system. This system would grade possible immigrants according to specifics such as education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, and age. Several countries conduct these sorts of merit-based immigration qualifications, including Canada, Australia, and even Switzerland.
Pro-amnesty critics are freaking out, claiming that according to the poem on the Statue of Liberty, all immigrants — regardless of their abilities to work or speak English — should be given the opportunity to live in this country if they so desire. “Democrats in Congress dismissed the policy as shameful, disgusting and emblematic of naked intolerance in the White House,” according to one report.
Another industry feeling the crunch of having to pay American construction workers is fast food restaurants. A report in Nation’s Restaurant News noted that higher construction costs are affecting chain operations as they build new locations.
For instance, the cost of building Texas Roadhouse restaurants “increased to more than $5 million per location in 2016, from $4.7 million the year before, and costs increased further this year. Executives on the company’s earnings call on Monday said those costs will remain high into next year,” according to the report.
“It’s getting really tough, particularly building construction,” Texas Roadhouse President Scott Colosi said.
He further noted that shortages in many of the trades that make up the construction business, such as framers or plumbers, have driven up costs. “They’re commanding top dollar, number one, to work in those jobs,” Colosi said. “And number two, the owners of those companies are paying top dollars to bid out their services. So that’s something that’s very concerning.”
Unemployment in Trump’s American has dropped to 4.4 percent, which means that companies now have to compete for workers. This competition drives up wages and increases the cost of doing business.
America has always been known as a compassionate country and routinely takes in persecuted people from all over the world — which is what the poem on the Statue of Liberty is all about — however, that’s all it is: a poem. Legal immigration is much more complicated, and there are rules that go along with taking in refugees and other migrants, because to blindly accept anyone and everyone who lands on the doorstep is not a wise way to conduct an immigration policy.
It should be pointed out that the RAISE Act only affects legal immigrants seeking green cards. The United States would still take in persecuted people under the Refugee Act of 1980, but the new law would limit the number of those admitted.