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Immigrants Rush to New Orleans as Contractors Fight for Workers
LA Times ^ | 10/10/5 | Peter Pae

Posted on 10/10/2005 11:37:09 AM PDT by Crackingham

Most of the signs are handwritten and simply worded, such as "Workers Wanted" or "Need 50 Laborers Now!"

Word has gotten out and each morning day laborers — who come from Central America and Mexico by way of California, Texas and Arizona — gather on street corners in the Kenner and Metairie neighborhoods on the western edge of the city. Lured by jobs paying $15 to $17 an hour, the Spanish-speaking day laborers have flooded into New Orleans to haul out debris, clear downed trees, put in drywall and perform other tasks as rebuilding takes hold in the city. Specialized roofers can make $300 a day. Contractors know the new day-labor pickup spots. By noon, a tree-trimming firm hires the last available hand on Williams Boulevard near Interstate 10.

"We've never had Hispanic day laborer sites. That's a totally new phenomenon," said David Ware, a longtime New Orleans immigration lawyer.

With 140,000 homes destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is undergoing the nation's largest reconstruction effort and its new workforce is largely Latino. No one knows how many immigrants have descended here since Katrina ravaged the city five weeks ago, but their presence is visible throughout the city.

Abimael and Filegonia Diaz may have been among the first wave of newcomers. Since Sept. 12, the couple has been clearing debris, washing windows and sweeping floors at a hotel in downtown New Orleans. For six years, Abimael worked in Nashville as a day laborer and sent money to Filegonia and their three young children in Mexico.

"We'll stay here because I think the job will last a long time," Abimael Diaz said. "If we can make enough money, we would like to buy a house and bring our children to New Orleans."

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: aliens; contracts; culture; hurricane; illegalimmigration; immigrantlist; immigration; katrina; neworleans; rebuildingno
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1 posted on 10/10/2005 11:37:15 AM PDT by Crackingham
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To: Torie

Check out all the Latinos streaming to New Orleans. Who could've guessed?! ;^)


2 posted on 10/10/2005 11:39:37 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Crackingham

Could El Presidente Vicente Fox have been right?


3 posted on 10/10/2005 11:40:56 AM PDT by Spok (Est omnis de civilitate.)
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To: Crackingham

How do you say Viva la Reconquista in French?


4 posted on 10/10/2005 11:42:38 AM PDT by kinghorse
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Crackingham
New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin asked local businesspeople, "How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?"

Nagin is a racist. LOL How was Dallas Mr. Mayor?

6 posted on 10/10/2005 11:44:29 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Spok

The illegals will build a city that many long time residents (aka ghetto dwellers) have never worked in for generations.


7 posted on 10/10/2005 11:45:41 AM PDT by antivenom (If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much damn space!)
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To: AntiGuv

And just WAIT until they start cooking meals together !!!!


8 posted on 10/10/2005 11:46:10 AM PDT by Syberyenta
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To: AntiGuv

I sent this article to DHS earlier today asking them .....where is ICE? The article even has the name of a contractor in it that is hiring these illegals.
Shameful..................


9 posted on 10/10/2005 11:46:26 AM PDT by sheana
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To: Crackingham
For six years, Abimael worked in Nashville as a day laborer and sent money to Filegonia and their three young children in Mexico.

A father that supports his wife and kids? That is certainly not in keeping with the New Orleans urban culture.

10 posted on 10/10/2005 11:49:11 AM PDT by PAR35
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: AntiGuv

God bless them. Do you think the employers would not hire locals first to do the work if they were willing to fill the positions? Unfortunately, too many New Orleans residents have the feeling that physical labor is beneath them and they choose not to apply for such work. The Latinos who fill those jobs will become the middle class citizens of the rebuilt New Orleans, and they will eventually fill the jobs in the tourism industry when the rebuilding is completed. They will be no different than the waves of Irish, German and other European immigrants who landed in New Orleans in the early decades of the Twentieth Century.


12 posted on 10/10/2005 11:51:34 AM PDT by Poodlebrain
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To: Baynative
"Lured by jobs paying $15 to $17 an hour,.."

I suspect that it’s a challenge to find a skilled (and sober) Americans to do construction for $17 an hour, much less relocate to NO. 10 years ago, I was told that the illegals hanging out in front of Home Depot in Santa Monica turned down anything under $10 per hour

13 posted on 10/10/2005 11:52:26 AM PDT by elfman2
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To: Crackingham

Once again this seems to demonstrate that poor Hispanic people are willing to work and blacks are not.

I don't believe this is a racial difference. I think it's a cultural difference. Ever since the New Deal, poor urban blacks have been kept on the Democrat plantation and paid not to work. And ever since Selma, Democrats have told blacks that all their problems are Whitey's fault, so they are owed. Why work, when you can get paid for doing nothing, and besides, the white oppressors owe it to them.

In places where the Hispanics have lived long enough, they begin to suck up the same culture, and go on welfare too.


14 posted on 10/10/2005 11:54:49 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Cicero

Quick...set the trap....heheheahhaaaa.. its all over but the crying.


16 posted on 10/10/2005 11:55:28 AM PDT by samadams2000 (Nothing fills the void of a passing hurricane better than government)
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To: Poodlebrain

I have no problem with Latinos streaming to NO, so long as they are legit immigrants. My only reason for bringing it up is because I've been saying from very shortly after Katrina that the resurrected New Orleans will be totally different from the previous New Orleans, in that the 'working class' will be comprised mainly of Latinos rather than Blacks. This is because I expect the people who left to resettle elsewhere, especially if they are of the 'welfare class' and I expect that the rebuilding will draw in a whole lot of Latinos, because they are such a part of that industry and also many of them have the freedom to go wherever opportunity beckons (obviously, that's why they're here in the first place). A lot of these laborers will stick around, bring their families along eventually, and create a vigorous Latino community in New Orleans. That's what I expect.

I wonder what TexMex Cajun tastes like? :)


17 posted on 10/10/2005 11:56:21 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: One Loud Voice

So you support the CRIMINAL INVASION?

Anybody who aids and abets criminals are criminals!


18 posted on 10/10/2005 11:56:22 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." AYN RAND)
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To: Poodlebrain

Excellent response!


19 posted on 10/10/2005 11:56:35 AM PDT by SueRae
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To: Baynative

yep
Lots of unemployed factory workers in mid-Ohio..jobs and companies left.
I know a few and suggested a trip south for work and they look at me like I am crazy.
Flame away folks, but SOME Americans don't want the inconvenience of uprooting and the risk of the unknown. SOME immigrants are more than willing to do what it takes to work for a better life.
NOTE..."SOME"


20 posted on 10/10/2005 11:57:38 AM PDT by Bekki4Bush (Proud to be a Bush Zonie!)
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To: PAR35
"A father that supports his wife and kids? That is certainly not in keeping with the New Orleans urban culture."

Yup. Round'em fast, could cast a bad 'light' on the ghetto residents. People actually getting ahead by working, unbelieveable.

21 posted on 10/10/2005 11:57:59 AM PDT by blam
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To: Baynative

That’s funny! He should have suggested trading overtime wavers for his payroll deductions and two week check delay.


22 posted on 10/10/2005 12:00:39 PM PDT by elfman2
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To: Crackingham

Why arent the unemployed black people who lived in New Orleans streaming back for these jobs/ Ohh !!I know they are sitting it out till their new homes are built.


23 posted on 10/10/2005 12:00:39 PM PDT by sgtbono2002
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To: Poodlebrain

Nope they would not hire locals because they would have to pay Workers Comp, FIT and FICA plus union scale. They will hire day labor of the street corner because they can and it is cheaper.


24 posted on 10/10/2005 12:02:56 PM PDT by Les_Miserables
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: AntiGuv

I wonder what TexMex Cajun tastes like? :)


I dunno but I bet it feels like Fire on the way out.


26 posted on 10/10/2005 12:02:56 PM PDT by sgtbono2002
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To: Bekki4Bush

I hate to say this but let's be honest here. Quite a few of the folks in NOLA would laugh in your face if you asked them to do some work. Work needs to be done and the Latinos will do it.


27 posted on 10/10/2005 12:04:24 PM PDT by thathamiltonwoman
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To: Crackingham
Contractors say one advantage in using Oro is that they don't have to deal with paperwork or check to see whether the workers are in the U.S. legally.

---Ever wonder how terrorists were getting into our country? Same way these people are and as you can see, as long as they work, they don't care who is getting in.

"There is a 'don't ask, don't tell,' mentality right now," Custer said. He added that there didn't seem to be any effort to crack down on illegal immigrants. "If they do who will rebuild New Orleans?"

---That "don't ask, don't tell" attitude could be the United States' downfall if these people aren't thoroughly checked out. If they are here legally, that is one thing. If they are NOT here legally then if they can't obey our laws of immigration, then they probably won't our other laws so send them back.
28 posted on 10/10/2005 12:05:26 PM PDT by WasDougsLamb (Just my opinion.Go easy on me........)
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To: Crackingham
"If we can make enough money, we would like to buy a house and bring our children to New Orleans."

Looks like the character of that city is about to change.

29 posted on 10/10/2005 12:05:53 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: Les_Miserables
Nope they would not hire locals because they would have to pay Workers Comp, FIT and FICA plus union scale. They will hire day labor of the street corner because they can and it is cheaper.

Thank you. Apparently this is a real hard concept for people to get into their heads. susie

30 posted on 10/10/2005 12:06:21 PM PDT by brytlea (All you need as ID to vote in FL is your Costco card...)
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To: One Loud Voice

How do you propose we find out if they are illegal?
susie


31 posted on 10/10/2005 12:06:53 PM PDT by brytlea (All you need as ID to vote in FL is your Costco card...)
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To: AntiGuv
Actually sounds pretty good
32 posted on 10/10/2005 12:10:02 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: AntiGuv

A personal specialty of mine. I call it Cajexican. Crawfish tamales are great. And jambalya burritos are killer.


33 posted on 10/10/2005 12:10:38 PM PDT by doodad
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To: sgtbono2002; All

They expect Jesse Jackson to give them jobs..


34 posted on 10/10/2005 12:11:45 PM PDT by KevinDavis (the space/future belongs to the eagles --> http://www.cafepress.com/kevinspace1)
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To: AntiGuv
This is interesting. I've recently spent several months in Memphis TN, and am now spending time in El Segundo CA. It has allowed me to make some pretty interesting (to me anyway) observations about lower income workers (busboys, gas station attendents, hotel clerks etc). The blacks in Memphis were for the most part, surly to outright hostile, lazy, and generally incompetent. They just didn't care about anything. The Hispanics in El Segundo are polite, effective and do their jobs well. And, for the most part they speak better English and are easier to understand. If I were seeking a team of workers to help reconstruct the disaster area around New Orleans, I know who I would turn to.

And before I get blasted for being a racist, let me point out quite clearly that I do not believe this is a racial issue. It clearly is not. It is a cultural issue. The culture in Memphis is a welfare culture where things are handed to you without regard to what you contribute in return. The culture in El Segundo is one in which people have taken the initiative to leave something bad, for something better. And the migrant workers here seem grateful for the opportunity. But race has nothing to do with it. Put a bunch of white, Connecticut snobs into a welfare environment, and within a generation or two, I am certain you would see the same laziness, poorly directed anger and incompetence.

35 posted on 10/10/2005 12:15:24 PM PDT by Rokke
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To: elfman2

Actually this is near what freelancers will take, and there is always bonus and chances to negotiate for more. If $15 -$17 is entry level, there are higher salaries to be had.


36 posted on 10/10/2005 12:15:44 PM PDT by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: Poodlebrain
They will be no different than the waves of Irish, German and other European immigrants who landed in New Orleans in the early decades of the Twentieth Century.

Their legal status will be very different.

Their loyalty to this country is very different.

What part of illegal do you people not understand?

37 posted on 10/10/2005 12:16:36 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Crackingham

Welcome to Nuevo Orleanos!


38 posted on 10/10/2005 12:16:54 PM PDT by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: Crackingham
Immigrants Illegal Aliens Rush to New Orleans as Contractors Fight for Workers

Abimael worked in Nashville as a day laborer and sent money to Filegonia and their three young children in Mexico. Within days after the hurricane hit New Orleans, Filegonia joined her husband in New Orleans...

Contractors say one advantage in using Oro [a labor broker] is that they don't have to deal with paperwork or check to see whether the workers are in the U.S. legally.

It's enough work to last a year, but after the hurricane most of his workers fled.

They fled or were they evacuated and told it was not safe to return to the city?

39 posted on 10/10/2005 12:18:05 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: gubamyster

ping


40 posted on 10/10/2005 12:18:39 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: blam
People actually getting ahead by working, unbelieveable.

We don't want 'that kind' in America. It undermines the welfare state.

41 posted on 10/10/2005 12:18:58 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Crackingham
Yes, and where are the unions on this? Should they not be mad at the illegals underbidding for their work?

Regardless, illegals or not, there is going to be a alot of skilled and trade work that has to be done on the Gulf Coast. If you are unemployed in some place like Michigan or Pennsylvania, where democrats have killed any economic growth, I suggest you move to New Orleans or at least temporarily relocate there. You will be working for the next 3 years.

42 posted on 10/10/2005 12:22:48 PM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; A CA Guy; ...

ping


43 posted on 10/10/2005 12:22:55 PM PDT by gubamyster
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To: Baynative
Jobs Americans won't do?

SOMEHOW those jobs DID get done before the invasion of illegal aliens was imposed upon us.

Americans should be OUTRAGED that these jobs will be given to illegal alien lawbreakers in favor of American citizens who NEED the jobs, and everyone in Washington from the White House down should hear from us!

A good place to contact them, in addition to calling their offices, is at www.numbersusa.com. Free prewritten, preaddressed faxes there that need to be sent.

44 posted on 10/10/2005 12:31:19 PM PDT by janetgreen
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To: gubamyster

Sounds like a target-rich-environment!

Round up the foreign invaders and ship 'em back!

Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!

Support our Minutemen Patriots!

Be Ever Vigilant ~ Bump!


45 posted on 10/10/2005 12:33:04 PM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: elfman2
***I suspect that it’s a challenge to find a skilled (and sober) Americans to do construction for $17 an hour, much less relocate to NO.****

Actually $17/hr in N.O. is pretty good because their cost of living is very low.

I found a website a while back that did the wage equivalent calcs and N.O. is about 50% of Chicago and 74% of Manhattan.

As such that'd be $34 an hour in Chicago. That's MORE than pretty good, you don't go hungry by any means on $1340 a week.

An aside, that's why I thought it was stoo-pid of the dems and unions to be whining about Dubya waiving the prevailing wage laws. Union workers who go down there for the big projects will be making a killing.

46 posted on 10/10/2005 12:34:42 PM PDT by Condor51 (Leftists are moral and intellectual parasites - Standing Wolf)
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To: Cicero

The truly amazing thing is that so-called black "leaders" almost universally oppose immigration reform. You would think they would be all for it, given the unemployment rates in their own communities. But then again, if immigration rates fell and there was an acute labor shortage, there might be enormous pressure on unemployed blacks to take these jobs. At a minimum, it would be hard for black leaders to defend anti-poverty entitlement programs while thousands of good-paying jobs went begging.


47 posted on 10/10/2005 12:40:45 PM PDT by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: janetgreen
I read just yesterday where so called "local" American workers in the Baton Rouge area were UNWILLING to commute to the N.O. area due to the high price of gas....

While I certainly don't support the idea of illegals coming into this country, someone has to step in and start cleaning up what is obviously a giant "stink-hole"
48 posted on 10/10/2005 12:43:47 PM PDT by VRWCTexan (History has a long memory - but still repeats itself)
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To: blackie

I think that a lot of ideological demogogery will slow the reconstruction. President Bush suspended a 1931 law amid howls from the left. Randi Rhodes on c-span yesterday objected that it would mean that people would be paid $5 rather than the prevailing $9. I get annoyed when people launch a big controversy while they ignore economics. There is a huge shortage of workers that is pushing up labor rates. So, there is no need to talk about Mexcians taking away anyone's jobs or driving down wages. These erroneous gripes just act in restraint of trade. By the way, this is the first time I ever heard of the left praising an economic measure of Herbert Hoover.


49 posted on 10/10/2005 12:44:56 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: AntiGuv

New Orleans cuisine is Creole, not Cajun, and it already has a Spanish influence.


50 posted on 10/10/2005 12:49:03 PM PDT by sportutegrl (People who say, "All I know is . . ." really mean, "All I want you to focus on is . . .")
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