January 2022

Background: The construction industry is heavily dependent on immigrant labor. The percentage of immigrant workers in the construction workforce is rising, according to an analysis of the most recent 2016 American Community Survey data by the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Economics. Immigrant workers comprise nearly 25% of the overall construction workforce and accounting for an average of 30% in the construction trades.

Status: Current immigration policy in the United States continues to be broken and does not effectively serve the greater goals and needs of the nation. Little opportunity for legal immigration exists, thereby creating frustration for industries and employers reliant on an immigrant workforce, and creating confusion for those who seek to comply with federal, state, and local ordinances. The 115th Congress and the Administration continue to consider the issue of immigration – and the many components of immigration policy. The complexities of attempting to address a comprehensive immigration policy for the United States remains daunting, yet critical.

Position: The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) first and foremost, is dedicated to the advancement and education of the plumbing and HVACR industry for the health, safety, and comfort of society and the protection of the environment. Furthermore, PHCC recognizes and greatly values immigrant workers in the industry in order to advance our mission. As such, PHCC:

  • Encourages legal immigration leading to a skilled labor workforce which contributes to the advancement and productivity of society;
  • Supports immigration reform – the goal of which would eliminate illegal immigration;
  • Supports clear and sensible immigration laws establishing vigorous and efficient enforcement;
  • Supports expansion or creation of a viable guest worker program that will meet the needs of all sectors of our nation’s economy;
  • Understands and anticipates the implications of an influx of legal guest workers in the United States. PHCC believes wages for guest workers meet state specific guide lines;
  • Supports strengthening our national security through increased interior enforcement and border security;
  • Supports an efficient employment verification system – which would require PHCC members to review and identify employees through the I-9 and E-Verify verification processes;
  • Will not take the responsibility and/or liability for the lack of illegal immigration enforcement or failure of policy.
*A guest worker program (such as the Federal H-2B, non-immigrant, non-agricultural temporary program) allows foreign workers to temporarily reside and work in a host country until a next round of workers is readily available to switch. Guest workers typically perform agricultural, industrial, or domestic labor in countries with workforce shortages, and they return home once their contract has expired. While migrant workers may move within a country to find labor, guest worker programs employ workers from areas outside of the host country. Guest workers are not considered permanent immigrants due to the temporary nature of their contracts.