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IMMIGRATION RAIDS CAUSED THE REAL ESTATE CRISIS

By       Message Jalil Bahar     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/28/09

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No one talks about it, no one appears to have connected the dots...but now in retrospect it is clear that the single biggest event that caused the real estate debacle was the nationwide increase in immigration raids by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Agents from the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

 

The raids were dispersed, but very effective. A small town in Iowa turned into a ghost town with a raid at a poultry plant resulting in mass deportations. Suddenly the town had 70 vacancies and a host of foreclosures. Police in Woodbridge Virginia, were suddenly empowered by a right wing, anti-immigrant mayor to arrest illegal immigrants, and suddenly all the immigrants moved out of town. This 'police action' left literally thousands of properties vacant in Woodbridge, and one of the nation's largest foreclosure rates. The reports go on, and on. A town in California completely decimated. Sussex County in Southern Delaware sucked out of over 10,000 Hispanic (tenants) because of ICE raids. A raid here, a raid there...nothing huge to be reported nationally, but in the end we find a national trend established in early 2008 and sustained all the way to the General Election in November which caused the near collapse of our economy and our way of life.

 

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I ran a quick analysis in Google News trends, looking at the correlation between Immigration Raids and Housing Foreclosures. After several years of relative peace, in May 2008, the raids begin in earnest and are captured as News Items. And there are upticks on raids going forward right up to November 2008. There is a clear connection.

 

Not coincidentally, there is a serious uptick in the national foreclosure rate within months right after the raids start happening. An already soft real estate market is suddenly decimated and thrown over a cliff, with months after the raids started. 

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Once again the Bush administration undertook a task without thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions...and the real costs for our economy.

 

For sure, there had been a serious increase in the number of illegal immigrants these past 8 years. Immigrants, among other needs, required housing. And feeding on the real estate boom...the construction industry was employing a large number of these additional illegal immigrants working in non-agricultural jobs.

 

We were led to believe that serious immigration reform was imminent. And in fact, many immigrants were staying in the U.S. longer believing that reform would allow them to legalize their status. It was the buzz of Washington cocktail parties.

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Then suddenly, out of nowhere, there were increased workplace raids which resulted in mass deportations. Mass deportations led to mass vacancies. Mass vacancies led to a slow down in construction activity, and a rise in foreclosures, further leading to a collapse of our banking system, causing a deep recession, further unemployment, etc.

 

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www.faceofiran.com
Former Iranian Diplomat, now retired real estate investor in Delaware

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