Economist Says Deporting DACA Recipients Could Boost A Post-Harvey Labor Shortage

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 7, 2017 6:11 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was largely expected. But as Marfa Public Radio’s Caroline Halter reports, it comes at a time when Hurricane Harvey is refocusing a spotlight on the role of immigrant labor in Texas. 

Next to California, Texas has the largest number of residents with temporary legal status under DACA. Many work in industries like construction, which is set to see an increase in demand due to damage from Hurricane Harvey.

“There’s all sorts of other reasons not to penalize people who were brought here as children,” says Texas economist Ray Perryman. “But even if you put all those issues aside, there are many industries where the undocumented workforce is very important, but probably nowhere more than construction.”

Perryman says rescinding DACA will only exaggerate the state’s need for foreign workers.

“It’s a very big overall problem,” he says. ‘I think this storm just puts a real exclamation point on the issue at this particular point in time.”

Congress has the opportunity to act on DACA within the next six months, but Perryman says negative rhetoric alone can worsen the types of labor shortages that will hinder rebuilding along the Gulf Coast.

Angela Paxton has announced that she’s running for the state Senate.

Paxton, who is married to indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has been known to sing about her husband’s political accomplishments, as in “Pistol Packin’ Mama.”

Now the former guidance counselor is charting her own political course in a bid for the  District 8 senate seat in North Texas. The seat was once held by her husband and is currently occupied by Republican Van Taylor, who is vacating it to run for Congress.

Paxton’s chief opponent is fellow Republican Phillip Huffines, who is the Dallas County GOP chairman.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is known for its silly and entertaining sketches, and its acoustic renditions of hit songs with The Roots – like Migos “Bad and Boujee.” 

But this week, the show made news with the announcement that it was donating $1 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund started by Houston Texans star JJ Watt.  Fallon made the announcement on the show earlier this week with the help of a Houston Gospel Choir.

Watt’s fund has raised more than $28 million as of Thursday morning