These workers, who get picked up off the street by homeowners looking for quick, cheap labor, are helping to rebuild the devastated cities of southeast Texas.
Many of them are here illegally. Others are legal residents in need of income after their regular jobs were disrupted by the hurricane.
Ike brought a wide swath of destruction, and with it the prospect of more work, higher wages and a respite from the ever-present threat of deportation. In recent months, many day laborers say, jobs in the Houston area had started to dry up, and police and immigration officials had been cracking down.
Sometimes, you need a quick, cheap, mobile labor force. That's pretty much what the illegal immigrant laborers are. Now can we please quit talking about how they don't do anything except come here to steal benefits and have kids?