The Rev. Jesse Jackson and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin are up in arms because what has historically been a mostly black city may be on its way to becoming a largely brown city. Latino immigrants are coming to New Orleans from as far away as California to repair homes, clear debris, rebuild roads and do other jobs. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, they're making about $15 per hour, and they've been so warmly received by contractors that many of them say they plan to stay, save money, buy homes, and put down roots in the Big Easy.
Before Katrina, New Orleans was only about 3 percent Latino. Now, demographers say the city's Latino population could swell to four or five times that amount.
That comes as a bolt of bad news for black leaders nostalgic for a city and a culture that for all practical purposes no longer exists. Ironically, a lot of what's being said by these folks resembles what white nativists say in the immigration debate.
Nagin told reporters that his new worry is how he is going to "ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers."
Oh, that's nice.
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