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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Sunday, November 13, 2005 ::

    Undocumented workers descend on Gulf Coast for repair jobs - Vida en el Valle, CA
    "'Welcome to the new slave trade,'" Topete recalled the contractor saying. "I thought it was really mean."

    In the end, the workers called Topete and said they were going to Mississippi because conditions where they were staying were unsafe, unclean and hot.

    Regardless of the often primitive conditions they endure and the harsh work they sometimes perform, immigrants will continue to be drawn to New Orleans, said immigration expert Gregory Rodríguez, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan New America Foundation, a public policy center in Washington.

    Throughout U.S. history, immigrants from Ireland, Italy, China, México and elsewhere have been used to complete huge infrastructure projects, from the transcontinental railroad to the New York subway system.

    "In a weird way, this tragedy will make it a magnet for opportunity seekers," Rodríguez said. "It's the irony of tragedies."
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