Sandy Reconstruction Will Rely Heavily on Vulnerable Immigrants


With the belief that approximately 1 in 5 construction workers are undocumented immigrants, the reconstruction from Superstorm Sandy will have a decidedly Latino flair to it. The problem is these workers could be especially vulnerable.
According to, “Ironically, as they play an outsized role in reconstruction after a natural disaster, immigrant workers will be especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by unscrupulous employers. As a result, federal and state officials must be vigilant in ensuring that labor laws are vigorously enforced to protect all workers involved in post-Sandy reconstruction efforts.”
These Latino workers coming to the Tri-State area (NYC, northern New Jersey and Southwest CT), might decide to stay here once they find construction jobs. “As described in a 2006 report by the University of California, Berkeley, and Tulane University, the migration of immigrant construction workers to New Orleans after [Hurricane Katrina] transformed the demography of the city. Whereas New Orleans had a relatively small Latino population before the hurricane, just a year later 45 percent of the city’s construction workers were Latino, and 54 percent of those were unauthorized,” said the article.
Flickr Photo © Caboose Rodeo