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The Role of Immigrant Workers in the Construction Industry

The United States is well known to be a country of immigrants. For decades, countless immigrants have come to this country in search of a better life and to unite with family members. Immigrants continue to have a considerable impact on the U.S. economy. In most recent years, the country has faced a significant increasing need for laborers in various industries. For instance, the construction industry has experienced significant shortage of workers.

Many builders have reported shortages in specific construction occupations such as framing crews, carpenters, bricklayers, concrete workers, among others. To face labor shortages in the construction industry, U.S. employers have relied on foreign-born or immigrant workers to meet their needs. Construction labor shortages are caused by the low number of skilled workers available to take on employments which was once occupied by the now-retired baby boomers. Construction jobs have been less appealing to the new generation. As a result, employers have turned to hire immigrants who, therefore, played an important role in the future of the construction industry, and consequently the U.S economy.

The percentage of foreign-born constructions workers in California is 42%, Texas 41%, New York 37%, Nevada 37%, and Florida 35%. To face construction workers shortages many employers have made ample use of the H-2B temporarily visa for seasonal nonagricultural workers. Many immigrants have embraced the opportunity to legally come to the United States through the H-2B program, among other immigrant programs for skills and unskilled labor, to work in the construction industry.

Employers who desire to hire immigrant construction workers to meet their need must speak with an experienced immigration attorney. The attorney will assist in evaluating workers eligibility and other required conditions for the visa to be granted. The attorney will provide legal assistance from start to finish.  Most employers are not familiar with the process and doing it on their own would jeopardize their chances of success in the visa process.

Additionally, employers must be aware of individuals or entities which offer legal services at low cost or/and who are not licensed immigration attorney. In that regard, many individuals have been victims of scams and lost money and jeopardize their future in the process. 

We understand that due to construction worker shortages numerous employers are not able to meet the high demand for new construction projects. Many have had to turn down profitable projects in that regard. Obtaining the appropriate work visas for immigrant construction workers is important in the construction industry for projects. We have recently seen a spike in immigration audit activities for employers who hire undocumented foreign workers. Although we have successfully defended these cases, it could be challenging for inexperienced attorneys due to I-9 requirements for companies.

Sadly, there are many scam artists who mislead, misrepresent or outright steal from businesses and individuals going through this process.  The USCIS has posted Common Scams to bring awareness to this problem.   Therefore, it is important that you or anyone you refer to an immigration lawyer ask for referrals, check references, and validate credentials before engaging the attorney.  Hence, we ask our current and past clients to refer us as a trustworthy source to their associates and friends, we maintain our status with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and State Bar Associations.

By | September 11th, 2019|Employee Sponsorship, Immigration Updates|Comments Off on The Role of Immigrant Workers in the Construction Industry
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