December 23, 2005


Immigrants find opportunity in ruined New Orleans (Jeff Franks, Dec 23, 2005, Reuters)

Much of New Orleans lies abandoned and destroyed after Hurricane Katrina struck nearly four months ago, but for Latin American immigrants the storm-ravaged city has become a land of opportunity.

While New Orleans residents are slow to return, the immigrants, most of them illegally in the United States, have swarmed in to do the hard work of cleaning up and rebuilding that others so far have shunned.

They are not here because of altruism -- New Orleans is just another place in a strange land to them -- but because there is a huge unfulfilled demand for labor and, as a result, high wages they cannot get in their homeland or in other U.S. cities.

In a sight common in the southwestern U.S., but new to New Orleans, they crowd street corners starting at daybreak, offering themselves as day laborers to anyone who needs them.

Makes it hard to summon sympathy when you hear a story about how the displaced can't find work.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2005 10:19 PM
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