NAHREP is alarmed by the practice of governors transporting migrants to northern cities and states without their consent. Immigrants are not political tools that can be used to make political statements about border policies.
The current discourse is a distraction from the fundamental issues we’re facing in the U.S., such as the severe labor shortages permeating throughout the country. Immigration is undoubtedly an economic issue, not the political charade currently being deployed.
We are living in one of the most hostile real estate markets for first-time homebuyers, primarily because the construction of homes has not kept up with demand. The cost of labor (given the scarcity of construction workers) is a major cost driver.
Key arguments for our Congressional leaders:
- Reallocate the costs associated with immigrants being transported to northern states an redirect it to new home construction: Arizona has reportedly spent almost $3 million dollars in sending immigrants to northern cities and states. These funds should instead be invested in affordable housing development for first-time homebuyers.
- Pass immigration reform to reduce our country’s labor shortage. The labor shortage is worsening throughout the country and is pronounced in sectors with high concentrations of immigrants. And, there are 345,000 unfilled positions in the construction industry. The National Association of Home Builders has reported the correlation between high immigration rates and the rise in construction. In fact, 56,000 immigrants entered the construction labor force in 2018 – a drastic drop compared to the 130,000 who entered in 2005.
- Increase the number of foreign-born workers to ease inflation. Our labor shortages have an impact on our nation’s supply chains, and in turn, inflation. We know that the decline in foreign-born workers has stalled production in crucial areas, such as manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and construction. The decrease in immigrant workers has slowed the rate of production across the U.S. economy. With the higher cost of labor and increasing demand for goods, prices will continue to rise. However, an increase in the number of foreign-born workers in these key industries would help speed up the production of goods, reduce labor costs, and eventually soothe prices.
- Solve our housing inventory crisis and pass comprehensive immigration reform. Housing supply is at an all-time low while housing costs are at an all-time high. The decline in immigrant construction workers, in particular, has stalled housing construction. Allowing for more skilled foreign-born workers to enter the U.S. in all states to fuel our construction labor force would bring down the cost of new home construction.
It’s time to make our voices heard mi gente!