The home building industry plays a crucial part in sustaining the economy of the United States in addition to meeting the country’s housing requirements. Immigration reform is the key to filling the necessary positions within this industry, yet builders face significant obstacles due to current immigration policies.
Immigration reform is necessary for the home building industry to keep on thriving and being able to address the housing needs of the United States, and Congress should concern itself with passing sensible immigration reform that fixes the current outdated system while not imposing large burdens on small businesses within the industry. The home building industry is dominated by such small businesses and the industry badly needs immigration reform that addresses the need for a workable and fair employer verification system in addition to US visa programs that reflect the needs of the industry in an appropriate manner.
Congress is currently considering expanding the electronic employment verification system (E-Verify) in order to make sure that employers only hire immigrants with legal authorization to work in the country. A mandatory system would address issues regarding illegal immigrant labor; however, such a system needs to be efficient and fair and not impose undue mandates on employers.
The turnaround in the US housing market in the last few years has resulted in labor challenges for the construction industry, with the number of unfilled and open jobs increasing by as much as 51% between the end of 2012 and the end of 2013. This increasing demand for workers simply cannot be met without extra immigrant labor.