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Sting of New Immigration Law Felt in a Labor-Short County : Construction/The Crunch Is On for Workers Because of New INS Law

October 18, 1987|LESLIE BERKMAN

In the down-and-dirty construction trade--from dry-wall installers to building-site cleanup crews--a severe shortage of legal workers is expected to develop if the Immigration and Naturalization Service vigorously enforces the new immigration reform law.

Already, Bill Longaker, superintendent for dry-wall subcontractor G.L. Rowlings Corp. of Riverside, said the company is falling behind schedule at construction sites because it is unable to keep work forces fully staffed.

Since enforcement of the law's employer sanctions began, Longaker said he has seen a 30% decline in the availability of dry-wall installers.

"I'm at wit's end," he said. "It looks worse every day I get up."

While most construction contractors said they have not yet experienced a severe labor shortage, many predicted that the problem of finding qualified workers will worsen.

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