It is estimated that 5% of the U.S. work force, and 14 - 25% of construction workers are illegal aliens. (It's politically correct to call them undocumented workers, but let's get real, they are undocumented because they are here illegally.)
The booming housing industry in the past few years has been cited as one reason so many illegals are in construction - and you frequently hear, "they are doing work that U.S. citizens won't do." Baloney. If you are in construction, you know that's not true.
Remember when most of our clothing was made in the U.S.? Manufacturers discovered they could find workers outside the country who would work for less. How about the automobile industry? Many cars purchased in the U.S. are either completely assembled outside the U.S., or parts are manufactured outside the U.S., because labor outside the country is cheaper.
In the construction industry (and other industries with a strong illegal work force, such as agriculture and janitorial services), it is impossible to send the work to other countries, so instead of exporting the work, we import the workers. Or rather, we look the other way when they come in the country.
Just like the textile and automobile industries, these workers are doing work that U.S. citizens are willing and able to do. In the construction industry, they are hired under the table by unethical contractors who can charge much less for their work because their labor costs are lower. Contractors who follow the law, who document all workers, pay all payroll taxes and worker's compensation insurance, are penalized.
This ain't the way it's supposed to be. Legal U.S. workers should have first shot at all jobs, and all employers should be required to follow the law. That's why it's called the law.
If you agree, call your lawmakers. They need to know what you think. Call, because allowing illegal workers to continue to work will hurt your business.