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In the center of the boom

Sometimes the pieces come together in ways you didn’t quite foresee. Well, maybe you did; we didn’t.

We know about the significance of the housing boom, out of which the air now begins to leak. Housing – the financial deals being made, the money arising from seemingly nowhere, the tremendous number of houses being built nationally which has fostered a real boom in construction activity – is the underpinning for the largest share of prosperity the region and the nation has.

We also know that one of the hottest-button political issues on the scene today is that of what to do about people who are in this country illegally. And we’ve heard no end of political rhetoric on that subject. But their presence in this country is hardly new; is there any reason we should be more concerned, or that their presence is in some way more significant, than it was 10 or 20 years ago?

To put these pieces together, check out a Seattle Times report today about something really significant: The overwhelming numbers of illegal aliens who are employed in housing construction projects.

A quote from Jim Nietmann, who manages construction of thousands of houses – currently at Issaquah: “If I look outside my window right now it looks like we’re south of the border … Easily half are from Mexico, and they’re fueling our industry.” The article also suggests that five times as many people here illegally are working in construction, as opposed to agriculture.

Spin out the implications. Matters of the border tend to get more complex the more closely you look at them.

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