Jan 10

Stalled immigration reform is now affecting businesses

It’s not easy finding quality labor these days in Colorado. Just ask Angela Carlson, who has been trying for weeks to find laborers for the construction business she and her husband own. Building projects are on the upswing, which means the labor market gets tighter as the opportunity to make money increases. Carlson is concerned that she will have to stall projects soon.

“It really is a laborers market,” she says. “If immigration reform doesn’t come through soon, we will have to start turning down work, and that’s not good for anyone.”

And it’s not only Ms Carlson. All over the state, any type of business that needs a steady and reliable pool of hard working labor is feeling the pinch. Every time they read about the failed bill in the news, their hearts sink a little more. “It hasn’t reached a critical point yet, but if we have to go another year without reform it’s going to make the constructions companies who are on a tighter margin go under” says Preston Rios, owner of a house building company.

It’s especially difficult for companies that have government contracts, because they really have to make sure they don’t break any laws, because they can be penalized and be forever banished from every getting another contract.

The problem arose from the national real estate market crash, which sent many workers into different fields. Now that things are looking up, those workers don’t want to go back.