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Will illegal aliens take rebuilding jobs?

President Bush has taken moves that might allow illegal aliens to take the rebuilding jobs that could go to American citizens.
First, Bush suspended the Davis-Bacon Act in the affected areas. That requires that contractors on federal projects pay the prevailing wage, which is currently around $9 an hour in the Gulf Coast region. (Note that - oddly enough - the suspension includes Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties in south Florida.)
And, from this, "U.S. officials have suspended for 45 days a requirement that employers check workers' identification." While many storm victims might have lost their ID, this will also allow illegal aliens to gain employment even more easily than they now can.
Sep. 9's "Bush Suspends Prevailing Wage Laws for Katrina Clean Up" has the details on who prompted the first:

Last week, Americans for Tax Reform, an organization founded by long-time Republican activists Grover Norquist, sent Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao a letter asking that she suspend the Davis-Bacon Act in order to free taxpayers from paying too much for the disaster clean up and management. Wednesday, Representatives Tom Feeney (R-Florida), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colorado), sent Bush a similar letter, stating that the Act drives costs up and "effectively discriminates against non-union contractors."

"G.O.P. Sees Opportunities Arising From Storm"

The NYT reports on the relentless march of "compassionate conservatism":

Republican leaders in Congress and some White House officials see opportunities in Hurricane Katrina to advance longstanding conservative goals like giving students vouchers to pay for private schools, paying churches to help with temporary housing and scaling back business regulation...
The Bush administration has already moved to relax a variety of regulations in areas damaged by the hurricane. Many of the changes are small, like letting people take bigger tax deductions for the miles they drive while doing charitable work. Another change, announced on Friday by Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, will give preference to investment groups from hurricane areas that are seeking tax credits for community development projects.
But other changes are more ideological and more controversial. On Thursday, Mr. Bush issued an order that exempts federal contractors working on disaster relief projects from a longstanding federal requirement that they pay workers "prevailing wages," which are usually pegged to union pay rates.
The exemption strikes at the heart of a requirement that labor unions and Democratic lawmakers have ferociously defended for years.
"There are a lot of opportunities to experiment," said Mr. Snow, who jointed Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez in a rapid trip to highlight the administration's hurricane-relief operations...

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