The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the Trump administration's decision to extend, by one-year, temporary protected status for Salvadorans, including roughly 37,000 currently working legally in the domestic construction industry:
"Today's decision to extend temporary protection for another year to Salvadorans living in the United States means thousands of development and infrastructure projects across the country will not be put at immediate risk. That is because those projects will not be undermined this year by the sudden loss of an estimated 37,000 construction workers legally working in this country as part of the Temporary Protected Status program. The economic damage of revoking the legal status of so many skilled craft professionals at a time when 80 percent of construction employers struggle to find qualified workers will be severe.
"We urge Congress and the Trump administration to provide long-term certainty to people already working in the United State under various temporary work authorization programs. In addition, Washington officials should enact measures to allow more people to legally enter the country to allow firms to keep pace with record demand for construction services. And they must increase investments in career and technical education so we can begin the longer-term work of cultivating and preparing a new generation of domestic workers for high-paying construction careers."