Industries in Southwest Alabama are Losing Migrant Workers Due to Immigration Law
A Mobile roofing company owner recently saw 7 of his former employees cleaning up at a Florida convention center. Although they are in the country legally and possessed proper documentation, they fled Alabama because of the tough immigration law of the state. This was revealed by Jay Reed, the president of Alabama Associated Builders & Contractors.
Reed also revealed that after the passage of the immigration measure, another Mobile construction employer found 14 of his former workers at a job site in Biloxi.
The new immigration law of Alabama is considered by some as the toughest in the country. Although some parts of the law were blocked by a federal judge and it has been legally challenged by the U.S. Justice Department, major elements of the measure are being implemented. The effects have rippled across a variety of businesses.
South Baldwin County’s hospitality industry has reported that it is losing a substantial chunk of its work force.
Sheila Hodges, a realtor in Gulf Shores, who also happen to own 2 cleaning services in south Baldwin, said that 30% of her employees at Starr Textile Services have left. More have left Meyer Services, saying that they are “scared” of the new law’s enforcement, even though they possess proper documentation.
Hodges also revealed that the law dealt another economic blow in southwest Alabama, in an area that is still recovering from the BP oil spill last year.
She said, “As an employer, I’ll get creative. I’ll find a way of bridging this gap until something better comes along. I have to. Unless BP’s got some oil workers that want to come clean.”