Few industries are more directly effected by the immigration debate than construction. In its December issue Construction Dimension, the magazine of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Mark L. Johnson looks at how the industry is trying to cut through the rhetoric in Washington and find reasonable solutions:

Last March, during a panel discussion in Houston and later posted on RationalMiddle.com, political scientist Tony Payan, Ph.D., explained that it’s incorrect to say the nation is facing a crisis over immigration.

“There isn’t an immigration crisis. There really isn’t one,” said Payan, director of Mexico Center at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. “It is a manufactured crisis.”

Four years ago, Payan and economist William C. Gruben of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas studied national data on migration. Their 2014 paper, “‘Illegal’ Immigration on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Is It Really a Crisis?”, urged policymakers not to give in to “the moral panic that sometimes pervades the public narrative on immigration.”

AWCI members agree with that conclusion. Level heads are needed to provide a solution, they say.

“The answer to the whole immigration thing just has to be a quick and easy legal way to get people working, so that nobody has to be tempted to circumvent the system,” says Craig Daley, president at Daley’s Drywall & Taping, Inc., Campbell, Calif.

You can read more of Mark’s article, which references our work at the Rational Middle, here. The issue also includes a column from editor Laura M. Porinchak, which is available here, and a column by Mark taking a closer look at employment issues here.


Seeing Beyond Emotion to a Solution in the Immigration Debate