The Construction Industry Can Be Crippled By The Deportation Of Illegal Immigrants

The president-elect’s comments during his campaign have fueled panic among many immigrant communities. According to estimates there are 11 million undocumented immigrants who are living in the United States with about 2 million having criminal records and convictions. On the other hand, Migration Policy Institute estimates the number of undocumented immigrants with criminal records at less than 820,000.

If Trump will push through with the deportation of undocumented immigrants, some of whom are construction workers, the industry’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be slashed by as much as 8%. This is based on a report made by non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research. In the working paper that was released last November 14 by two economics professors of Queen’s College that was titled “The Economic Contribution of Unauthorized Workers: An Industry Analysis” an immediate drop of $30.9 billion (5%) is estimated in the industry’s GDP with a long term decline of $$7.6 billion from the 2013 industry total output of $619.87 billion if the president-elect pushed through with his promise to drastically reduce the number of undocumented individuals in the United States.

Many construction workers belong to the group of undocumented immigrants and if they are deported, homebuilders will have to face a significant labor shortage meaning that fewer homes will be built. On the other hand, if the undocumented construction workers were legally allowed to stay in the United States, it could precipitate an immediate 1.2% increase (about $7.7 billion annually) and a long-term rise of 1.9% ($12.1 billion annually) for the construction industry.

At least 14% of the workforce of the US construction industry is made of undocumented laborers who accept less pay. Homebuilders will have to pay more for labor and it is going to make homes more expensive to build. Eventually, some construction firms will leave because the business is no longer profitable.

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