Hurricane Sandy hit the United States east coast on October 29th, 2012, inflicting major damages in Atlantic City, New York City and Ocean City, and all the places in its way.
The devastation ranges from flooded subways, blocked roadways, tumbled and shattered houses to crumbled office buildings, let alone the personal trauma due to losses.
Now that the worst is behind, the colossal task of repairing and rebuilding these structures is going to take large teams of workers or labourers.
From previous rebuilding efforts after the Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the massive tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2011, it is evident that immigrant workers will play a major part in the reconstruction process. And the possibility of most of these immigrant workers being unauthorized in going to be high.
Due to their vulnerability to exploitations and abuses by their employers during the work despite their large number of involvement in the reconstruction work, it is the duty of federal and state officials to implement some tough labour laws that will ensure safety to these undocumented workers.
Protection at all times during the work by providing the workers with safety equipments and gears should be ensured by federal officials with close monitoring of the work sites.
Post-Katrina, it was observed that the immigrant workers involved in the reconstruction were not treated fair by providing wages below the normal federal standards, which was actually made easy by the Department of State by passing the law that it is allowable to do so.
It should be ensured that these undocumented workers, who put themselves in line with other documented workers in rebuilding effort, feel safe by being provided with adequate legal protection, and no employer treats them unfair.
The federal agencies should provide these workers with legal permissions to work at the places declared as disaster-zones, thereby expediting the reconstruction process.
These work authorization should go hand in hand with adequate health-care and workers’ compensation coverage too.
It is very necessary to keep a close eye on the working conditions and treatment of laborers in the disaster-zone by regular inspections to these sites.
With the number of illegal immigrants as large as 11 million, this will not only ensure efficient harnessing of the large manpower but also expedite the reconstruction process.
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.