Undocumented workers ‘will be linchpin’ in Hurricane Ike cleanup efforts.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that “Hurricane Ike’s destruction is sparking one of the largest rebuilding efforts the state has seen in decades but at the same time is highlighting a thorny facet of the region’s labor force: A lot of the recovery work will be done by illegal immigrants“:

Homeowners have already turned to day laborers — many of whom are undocumented — to help clear brush, tent roofs and repair other storm damage. Contractors have hired them to rebuild or restore businesses and the city’s infrastructure.

And the major work of rebuilding small towns along the Gulf Coast or big homes in Galveston will likely be aided by undocumented workers.