In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans saw a surge of new undocumented immigrants in the city that were drawn by the high paying construction jobs. Many of them have stayed and are now caught between a rock and a hard place: they stay and face Hurricane Isaac or leave and possibly face deportation.
Univision’s “Primer Impacto” reporter Ricardo Arambarri is currently in New Orleans and has been tweeting and uploading short video reports in English for the past two days. In the video above, he visits a local New Orleans church that has offered shelter to the city’s undocumented residents.
Since Katrina, the Latino population of New Orleans has risen from 15,000, or 3.3 percent of the pre-storm population, to 50,000, 15.2 percent of the current population, according to the New Orleans Economic Development office.
A 2006 study by Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley, found that almost half of the reconstruction workforce in New Orleans is Latino, and 54 percent of that group is undocumented, meaning 25 percent of all workers are undocumented Latinos.