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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Trump’s immigration crackdown could “decimate” California construction sites: report

More than 20% of construction workers in California are undocumented
February 23, 2017 02:44PM

Construction laborers work on the construction of the Broad Museum in 2013 (Credit: Getty)

President Donald Trump’s order for immigration agencies to target undocumented immigrants is a cause for concern for a wide range of California businesses, according to a study by the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Among them, real estate is front and center.

More than 20 percent of all construction workers are undocumented, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing the USC report. They comprise 10 percent of the overall labor force in the state.

Trump’s directive calls for raids of all undocumented immigrants, regardless of whether they have a criminal record. This could drastically damage California’s economy, reducing economic output by up to 9 percent, according to Giovanni Peri, an economist at UC Irvine.

Deporting these workers could “decimate” construction sites, farms, and hospitality businesses, he told the Times.

The effects are already evident.

Jesse Sandoval, a Stockton-based farm labor contractor, said that the influx of laborers was already dwindling under the Obama years. Now, some immigrant workers are voluntarily headed home.

“People just aren’t going to want to deal with it, and are going to want to go back to Mexico,” he said. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen