Times Picayune – Latino Workers Decided to Stay During Gustav

For many Latino construction workers, the threat posed by Hurricane Gustav paled in comparison to the fear of getting caught and deported if they evacuated.

Local groups that work with Latino day laborers estimate that hundreds, if not thousands, of undocumented immigrants stayed put for Gustav or chose another unsafe option: piling into trucks and cars stuffed full of evacuees.

While the Latino community grew in the region after Hurricane Katrina, along with the boom in construction work, it’s difficult to know how many illegal immigrants stayed in town for Gustav, partly because officials are unsure how many even live in New Orleans.

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