New West: the economics of immigration

At the peak of the housing bubble in January 2006, when the annual pace of new home construction hit a blistering 2.29 million units, an estimated 14 percent of laborers in the construction sector were undocumented immigrants, including 20 percent of carpet, floor and tile installers, 28 percent of drywallers, and 36 percent of insulation workers. In September 2007, housing starts were down almost 50 percent, prices tumbled, and tens of thousands of migrants had lost their jobs.

Rubén Martínez, Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West