The WaPo reports on the many sub and sub-sub contractors required to perform contracts in "Multiple Layers Of Contractors Drive Up Cost of Katrina Cleanup". One example they present is that of the FEMA buses.
Now, here's what the WaPo isn't telling you. In the article, they refer to "Spanish-speaking crews" doing roofing work. That's the WaPo's euphemism for "federal money is going to those who have an 80% chance of being illegal aliens".
By using multiple layers of subcontractors, prime contractors are able to employ illegal aliens with an even greater deal of impunity than they would if they employed them directly.
The trickle-down contracting is bad enough, but what makes it even worse is that many of the jobs were given to those here illegally rather than to American hurricane victims.
The Washington Post supported illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs from American hurricane victims, so it's understandable that they would want to avoid discussing this side of things.
The post Trabajo -- and I DO mean "HO" describes an encounter at a gas station where a presumed illegal alien prostitute propositioned another man. All funny-weird and all, but for those who want to the real screwing New Orleans is about to get, consider this comment:
Some people I know in the law enforcement community have said that there has been a decent sized influx of Mexican gangs into the area since Katrina. It used to be our thugs were so damn mean and prone to pump lead into the competition (especially competition of another race) that the Mexicans didn't see New Orleans as being a "viable market". Since all our hard-core killers are for the most part elsewhere, the Mexican gangs are using this as an opportunity to get themselves established here. They are bringing in drugs and a LOT of prostitution of both persuasions with them.
Anyone wanna bet the Health Units are going to see a nice run of STD's in the near future??
I left the following comment:
Right after Katrina, Bush not only lifted Davis-Bacon, he lifted the hiring documentation requirements, basically giving an even brighter green light to those who want to employ illegal aliens. Connected contractors eagerly complied, bringing in illegal labor from Texas and even further afield.
And, two weeks after Katrina, Harry Reid gave the situation his imprimatur, speaking out in support of the illegal aliens.
The American thing to do would be to have established a WPA of some kind and made sure that the jobs were being done by Americans. In that case, the more serious situation described above will have been prevented.
As it is now, not only do Mexican gangs see it as a new market, so does the Mexican government. Expect to see them discussing opening up a new consulate within a couple years.
This whole situation is fertile ground for any politician who's brave and self-financed enough to do what's in America's best interest and what would make both parties look just as corrupt as they are.
Both the national GOP and Democratic leadership should be driven out of office for what they did and are still doing. Unfortunately, corruption is so pervasive in America right now that only a small number of people recognize it for what it is and are willing to speak out about it.
(Via this, which has more)
Though Army Corps of Engineers officials say they did not overpay for the tens of thousands of blue roofs [temporary tarps] across the Gulf Coast, a review of their documents shows that a company required to compete for its contract did the work for half of what others charged...
...Although [Archie Ringgenberg, a contracting official in the Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis office] said it may be a long time before the paperwork on the blue roof program is complete, the spending on it already has been so vast it appears many federal officials are unable to keep track of it. In an interview earlier this month in Baton Rouge, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's top coordinating officer in Louisiana and a corps contracting official both said they were certain Shaw was paid around $1 a yard and $100 a square -- an estimate off by 75 percent.
Nola.com did not look into how many of those hired to install the roofs were illegal aliens rather than, oh, just as an example, American hurricane victims.
Jeff Franks of Reuters offers "Immigrants find opportunity in ruined New Orleans". It hits some of the same points as similar articles that support illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs from American hurricane victims. But, it reads even more like an advocacy piece than others in the same genre, and it cranks up the anti-Americanism quite a few notches at the end. And, the parts that could be considered reporting aren't exactly in-depth:
While New Orleans residents are slow to return, the immigrants, most of them illegally in the United States, have swarmed in to do the hard work of cleaning up and rebuilding that others so far have shunned.
Is it really accurate to say that they've "shunned" it? Perhaps it's because they've been shipped off to Atlanta. And, perhaps it's because of wage pressure from illegal labor. Reuters doesn't discuss that. If they were actually interested in reporting the news they would.
It also includes this:
Mexican Adolf Ramirez, 53, who came to New Orleans from Dallas two months ago, figured the workers were being left alone because the desperate needs in New Orleans had trumped anti-immigrant sentiments now prevalent in the United States.
Obviously, that's a false statement. But, here's the racist, anti-American part that will make most Americans' blood boil:
...The immigrant workers do not feel too threatened by competition from the local Americans. They point to the back of the parking lot where the only "gringos" in sight are sleeping on sheets of cardboard or sitting on wooden boxes, surrounded by empty beer cans and booze bottles.
"There are a lot of drunks here," said Delgado.
When asked where the American workers were, Del Rio shook his head and said, "Who knows? It just seems like the Latin race likes to work more."
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know exactly what you think.
From Nov. 15 came this Newsmax summary of a Der Spiegel article on illegal aliens doing rebuilding in New Orleans:
...Tracing the responsibility for the clean up job is a similar to solving an alphabetic puzzle. UDR, it seems, was retained by KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown & Root), which in turn is a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR hired UDR to handle the Belle Chasse cleanup.
From November 4 came the NYT's "In Louisiana, Worker Influx Causes Ill Will". While not as overtly biased as other article reporting on illegal aliens taking jobs from American hurricane victims, it does give unanswered voice to those who support that un-American practice:
...The focus on Hispanic immigrants worries people like Representative Nydia M. VelÃƒÂ¡zquez of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Small Business Committee.
"I am afraid the anger and frustration of hurricane victims is going to be turned against undocumented workers, who are being taken advantage of," Ms. VelÃƒÂ¡zquez said.
They also provide more on the Belle Chasse scandal:
...It was the promise of housing, as much as anything, that prompted Mr. Cheatham, the union electrician, to take a job wiring a tent city for a subcontractor at the Naval Air Station at Belle Chasse, south of New Orleans, he said. He had lost his house near Lake Pontchartrain to flooding, along with his car; his family was scattered.
Life on the base was tough, he said, but he was particularly troubled by the presence of a large number of people he believed to be illegal immigrants, some of whom were working at the base, others of whom arrived each night on buses for meals. (The Navy said it allowed its contractors to house workers on the base.) "I called immigration several times to complain," Mr. Cheatham said.
Then, abruptly in their view, the subcontractor, BE&K, fired Mr. Cheatham and his fellow union electricians. The electricians, who make about $22 an hour plus benefits, said they believed that their jobs were taken by lower-paid, illegal workers.
Their boss, Albert Knight of Knight Enterprises in Lacombe, La., complained to Senate Democrats, who demanded an investigation. And, in fact, federal officials have since found more than two dozen illegal workers at the base, although only two worked for BE&K, which says it did not replace the electricians with lower-paid workers...
Manuel Roig-Franzia of the WaPo has a three-screener called "In New Orleans, No Easy Work for Willing Latinos". The first screen is where the sucker punch lands on American workers, and the last two screens are just a long anecdote.
The article explains how those "Latinos" (actually, illegal aliens from Mexico) work in unsafe conditions and, when they get paid at all, are paid a sub-standard wage. They even describe a pregnant woman and her husband "slashing through the cough-inducing mold on walls in flooded Lakeview with only thin masks".
In the WaPo's magical world, all these problems would disappear if president Bush's "guest" worker scheme were enacted. In that world, illegal immigration would magically disappear and along with it low-wages and unsafe working conditions.
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Until illegal immigration is greatly reduced, corrupt employers will be able to undercut legal workers by hiring illegal aliens, prefering them not just because of the lower wage rate but also because they can be abused. The only way to solve that is to stringently enforce the immigration laws.
And, those media outlets that excuse illegal immigration - such as the Washington Post - will still be there and will continue to excuse illegal immigration and all its abuses. The only way to solve that is to completely discredit those sources that don't support enforcing our laws.
The WaPo also does not disclose that many possible American workers have been moved out of the area or out of the state. Not only are they not available to work there, and not only would they be undercut by lower-priced labor if they arrived, but they are basically being paid not to work.
We've got American workers being paid not to work, and corrupt contractors being paid out of federal funds and employing illegal workers who will send a good chunk of their money out of the country. Can the reader envision a more un-American scam?
Note also that on their homepage this newspaper has a link to the article "Analysts: Crackdown Won't Halt ImmigrationAnalysts: Crackdown Won't Halt Immigration" in the same box as the link to the one about New Orleans. That article claims that immigration enforcement doesn't work - and in the very same article informs us that the immigration laws aren't being enforced.
Don't trust what you read in the Washington Post. Please send an email to ombudsman *at* washpost.com letting them know what you think.
UPDATE: I haven't been able to find more information on the article's author other than that here, which does little more than inform us that he is or was the WaPo's Miami Bureau chief.
The DN report discussed in "DemocracyNow shocked by effects of supporting massive illegal immigration" also contains various anti-Red Cross charges from Bill Chandler, president of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, and I have a great deal of trouble believing what he says because of the earlier report WSJ: "Undocumented" workers face struggle to take American jobs. I realize that given the choice I would say that neither a far-leftie nor the WSJ are credible, but as I'm forced to choose I'm going to back the WSJ in this one. Here are some of his charges:
We have had some very, very serious problems with very overt racism on the part of the Red Cross, not only with immigrants, but with other people that were displaced by Katrina, as well. But with immigrants, initially in the application process for benefits, we had a considerable problem in Hadleyburg and in Laurel with people asking for too much information, going, you know, beyond what is required by the Red Cross to certify people for eligibility, and they were asking for documents, they were asking for all kind of things that was irrelevant to their victimization.
We had a situation where undocumented or documented immigrants who had been living on the coast, and I think people need to know that Mississippi has a rapidly growing immigrant population, and we estimate that over 100,000 people are here working. But on the coast there's about 30,000 and of that there were a lot of people that were affected by Katrina. And like the Anglos and like the African Americans and Vietnamese, and so on, they were seeking shelter with the Red Cross. We had an incident late in September where the shelter manager in Long Beach decided he didn't want any of the Latinos to be there, and he called a number of law enforcement agencies, ranging from the Indiana State Police, who were here to supplement local law enforcement, to the ICE, which is the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement which we commonly know as "La Migra" or the INS, what used to be the INS, and had them come, and they pulled the Latinos out of the shelter. Several people were pulled out of showers and were not allowed to wrap themselves in towels, and were pulled into the parking lot and told that they would be deported in 48 hours if they didn't leave the shelter immediately.
Earlier today, Amy Goodman's DemocracyNow broadcast "House Debates Bill to Rewrite Immigration Laws, Includes Provision that Makes it a Felony to be an Undocumented Worker". That makes it clear that not only does DN support illegal immigration, but they're unable to keep up with the news: the felony provision had been removed the day before.
Also today, DN broadcast "Workers in New Orleans Denied Pay, Proper Housing and Threatened with Deportation". The only reason those workers were put in that position was because they were either illegal aliens or homeless Americans. Both groups have greatly reduced bargaining power, and only the second group is legally able to work here. And, unlike the homeless, illegal aliens can be deported if they complain about working conditions or being cheated.
A sane, logical person would realize that anyone who supports illegal immigration is automatically supporting the inevitable abuse that those workers endure. And, that sane, logical person would realize that in order to prevent worker abuse, they should also oppose illegal immigration instead of supporting it.
Of course, I said "sane" and "logical".
Here's a short article called "A New Spice in the Gumbo", subtitle: "Will Latino day laborers locating in New Orleans change its complexion?"
It contains a couple of interesting quotes:
"I'm working for $6 an hour!" yelled one African-American man at Mayor Ray Nagin's first town-hall meeting last month. "They're bringing in Mexicans and expecting us to work for the same money. Is slavery over, or what?"
Followed by this:
Milton Martins, an undocumented Brazilian working for a demolition company, complains of backbreaking work and abysmal living conditions-triple bunks packed into a stench-filled salon in a downtown hotel. "It's a trash dump," he says. "This is human slavery in America." Even worse, he says, the contractor hasn't paid some of his co-workers in full.