How Immigration Reform Can Save the Construction Industry

Second-generation contractor Stan Marek explains how the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) audits of I-9 Employment Verification Forms has created labor's "cash economy."

"The new norm in our industry is to avoid the risk of I-9 audits and limit hourly payrolls that require documentation by hiring a subcontractor or labor broker who supposedly pays the men and follows the laws. This does not happen in the majority of cases, but it’s rarely caught because auditors investigate payrolls instead of payables, which is where the brokers hide their crews."

Marek says a sensible immigration bill is the first step toward breaking U.S. employers' dependency on undocumented workers and helping rebuild America's middle class. 

"Identify the workers who are here, and require their employers to pay taxes. If that doesn't happen soon, I fear the industry my ancestors helped build will see its middle-class legacy fade away completely and become nothing but a ticket to poverty."

(more contractor's perspective on immigration reform . . . )