The article Many migrants flocking to Gulf Coast are exploited, advocates say from William E. Gibson and Ihosvani Rodriguez seems to have a bit of a blind spot.
Namely, it doesn't discuss the concept - shared no doubt by the vast majority of Americans - that those who were driven out of work by the storm should lead in the rebuilding, rather than those jobs being given to imported illegal aliens.
..."There's not any housing, even for the people who are from there," said Tirso Moreno, director of The Farmworker Association of Florida, who toured coastal Mississippi to assess working conditions. "Some labor contractors will bring our people up for two or three weeks of work and then leave them there. Sometimes they are paid too little and sometimes not at all. There's nothing they can do to fight it."
Seventeen migrant workers from Fort Pierce, Fla., learned Friday that two weeks of hard work does not always translate into promised pay.
The men had left construction jobs on promises of up to $150 a day.
"There's a lot of work here. We could go days without working in Florida but there's a lot of work here," said the group's leader, Michael Olvera, 36, as he waited for the van to take him and the others to where they were staying.
While Olvera and the others were promised large apartments and plenty of food, instead they were living on a Frisbee golf course, in small tents or out in the open without electricity or running water.
After two weeks of fixing roofs, carrying Sheetrock and doing everything else that comes with helping restore a storm-torn region, Rafael Jarra, the man who brought them from Fort Pierce in a blue van, paid them $300 each - one fifth of what they were expecting.
Jarra denied promising the men $150 a day and claimed there was not as much work as anticipated.
"They are angry that they have to live here," he said, pointing to the makeshift camp.
I'm absolutely positive that any day now the SFSS will start publishing articles discussing the best solution to this problem: employing those Americans and legal workers who were driven out of work by the storm. Any day now.
To help them along, write Gail Bulfin, their "reader editor": gbulfin *at* sun-sentinel.com