Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

Housing Panic Reader

Illegal Hispanic immigrants built our houses - now post-bubble will they leave?
Folks, sorry to bring more bad news. But the US property crime rate is about to soar
Waaaaayyy more illegal Mexican immigrants here than we thought? 500,000 protest immigrant legislation

Recently, the Housing Panic blog had a series of blog entries on the impending collapse of the housing bubble and the effect it will have on illegal immigrants employed in homebuilding. The gist of this series is that, in some areas, nearly 50% of construction workers are illegal immigrants, and the numbers aren't that much lower in other areas. So once the music stops and there is no longer any work in homebuilding, what will they do?
  1. Will they go back to their home countries?
  2. Will they find work in other sectors of the economy?
  3. Will they create unrest and resort to committing property crimes for sustenance?
The Housing Panic blog suggests that the third option is likely. I have my doubts. While it would be naive to think that not one of them will commit a crime once they're out of a job, without sufficient evidence to the contrary, I prefer to believe that most of them will be respectful and law-abiding. (except for the initial crime of entering the country illegally, of course!)

What about the first two options then? The first is possible, although many doubt that will happen. For the second, it's hard to say where else they'll go to find work. Keep in mind that the collapse of the housing / real estate bubble will likely bring down many other sectors of the economy too. Retail and finance strike me as being particularly vulnerable, although a recession will affect everything to some degree or other. (notable exceptions being consumer staples and healthcare, so maybe they'll become healthcare workers)

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