By Loren C. Steffy and Stan Marek
Illegal immigration is among the most challenging and divisive issues facing America. With few changes in immigration laws since 1986, the undocumented population has swelled to an estimated 11 million.
Deconstructed unravels these economic issues and their human toll through the eyes of Houston businessman Stan Marek, who’s watched the immigration crisis unfold over 40 years. A descendant of Czech immigrants himself, Marek runs one of the largest specialty subcontracting firms in the U.S. He has seen construction work devolve from offering middle-class careers to trapping illegal immigrants in the shadows of the economy— paid in cash, without overtime or access to health care. Marek sees a burgeoning crisis for his industry, the national economy and the undocumented immigrants themselves - a crisis he has vowed to prevent.
In Deconstructed, award-winning business journalist Loren Steffy traces Marek’s own family history, intertwined with changes in immigration law for more than a century. Steffy examines the economic forces driving illegal immigration and outlines solutions that could enhance our economy, the construction business, and the lives of immigrants.
Voiced by: Loren C. Steffy
LOREN STEFFY is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly, executive producer for Rational Middle Media and managing director for the communications firm 30 Point Strategies, where he heads the 30 Point Press Publishing imprint. He is the author of four other nonfiction books.
STAN MAREK is the president and chief executive officer of the Marek Family of Companies, one of the largest interior contractors in the Southwest. He is a frequent contributor to the Houston Chronicle and blogs such as Construction Citizen.
Loren Steffy’s book "DeConstructed" shows why U.S. immigration policy is economically indefensible. The book explains how, in good times and bad, our nation needs steady, sensible immigration policies to bring in laborers from Latin America and elsewhere. Our prosperity depends upon it. Yet decades of pandering to irrational fears have stifled good policies while producing no improvement in the standards of living of working-class U.S. citizens. Steffy tells of Stan Marek and the wall-building company his family created in Houston. Marek cannot get enough U.S. born workers to meet the demand for construction in the Bayou City. Anti-immigration politicians have no solutions to this labor shortage nor to the other depressing effects on our economy, wages, and job creation that unworkable and harsh immigration laws are directly responsible for creating. Marek and Steffy advocate for conservative policies that would raise wages and living standards not just for immigrants, but for U.S. citizens who would benefit from good-paying, stable careers in the construction trades. The book ends with common-sense solutions proposed by a business leader who has suffered for decades because our immigration laws make no economic sense. Reading this no-nonsense book is a great first step to solving our immigration problem, brining greater prosperity to North America and the working class.