Daily Adams

Why Immigrants Are Important for Disaster Reconstruction

Needing, and receiving, all the help we can get:

A tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April 2011 left 43 dead and tore a path almost a mile wide through the city. Immigrant Hispanic workers in Alabama responded with alacrity. “Hispanics, documented and undocumented, dominate anything to do with masonry, concrete, framing, roofing, and landscaping,” said Bob McNelly, a contractor with Nash-McCraw Properties. Three months after the tornado, Tuscaloosa issued 1069 business licenses with 81 percent of them related to businesses repairing storm damaged.

There is no economic silver lining to a disaster, despite what The New York Times thinks, but fortunately there is a mobile workforce capable of responding to natural disasters to aid in reconstruction. After dealing with the Tuscaloosa reconstruction, McNelly said that he prefers Hispanic immigrants workers. “It’s not the pay rate. It’s the fact that they work harder than anyone. It’s the work ethic,” he said.

Via Cato @ Liberty.

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