Skip to comments.Immigrants Rush to New Orleans as Contractors Fight for Workers
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 ...
Yup. Round'em fast, could cast a bad 'light' on the ghetto residents. People actually getting ahead by working, unbelieveable.
Thats funny! He should have suggested trading overtime wavers for his payroll deductions and two week check delay.
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.
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.
I wonder what TexMex Cajun tastes like? :)
I dunno but I bet it feels like Fire on the way out.
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.
Looks like the character of that city is about to change.
Thank you. Apparently this is a real hard concept for people to get into their heads. susie
How do you propose we find out if they are illegal?
A personal specialty of mine. I call it Cajexican. Crawfish tamales are great. And jambalya burritos are killer.
They expect Jesse Jackson to give them jobs..
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.
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.
Their legal status will be very different.
Their loyalty to this country is very different.
What part of illegal do you people not understand?
Welcome to Nuevo Orleanos!
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?