Canadian Contractor
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Illegal immigrants in construction need a break

The underground gets worse when you don't let good, experienced trades from other countries work here legally.


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December 5, 2011 by Robert Koci

Yes, they are here illegally, Yes, they should not have dug roots so deep or made friends so true while here. They should have known better.

But they contribute. They work hard and they pay their bills and, perhaps most importantly, they pay taxes. Immigration authorities need to be given the discretion to grant legitimacy to the good guys who want to stay. The Toronto Sun has a story in the Dec. 5 issue that tells some of their story.

When I was working as a framer, I hired three guys from El Salvador. Not only did they work hard, they gave me more than I could give back. My biggest struggle was to resist paying them more than I could afford. When I had had enough of framing, I sold them my truck, tools and contacts and they carried on without missing a beat. I lost touch with them, but I hope they are still going strong because I know they believed in Canada and were willing to delivery value for their pay.

You probably have a subtrade or two that you could say the same thing about. They are good guys that you would go to bat for any day. Well, go to bat for them. Support initiatives at the federal and provincial levels that will make it easier for illegal immigrants who are productive members of our industry to obtain legal status.


Robert Koci

Robert Koci

Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. rkoci@canadiancontractor.ca Tel. 647-407-0754
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