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Advocates say Texas exploiting day laborers after Harvey

November 26, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of day laborers have quietly become an integral part of Texas’ recovery from Harvey, toiling in dangerous conditions amid the fear of being picked up by immigration authorities.

Harvey damaged or destroyed 200,000 homes and flooded much of Houston and smaller coastal communities with record amounts of rain and high winds.

In a construction industry that already had labor shortages before the storm, it created a massive demand for the kind of work that day laborers perform.

Advocates warn that day laborers are already being exposed to unsafe conditions and having their wages taken by unscrupulous employers. A recent survey conducted by the National Day Labor Organizing Network found that about a quarter of the more than 350 workers surveyed had been victims of wage theft after Harvey.

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