Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Cleaning up Houston (David J. Phillip / AP)

Texas is helping to lead the charge to deport illegal immigrants, but with some 200,000 homes needing work or complete reconstruction after Hurricane Harvey, the state faces a potential crisis because of a shortage of construction workers, per the Washington Post.

President Trump's decision today to end DACA, the so-called Dreamers program that shielded the children of illegal immigrants from deportation, could exacerbate the shortages. Texas is losing not only a spine of its blue-collar work force — between a quarter and half of Houston's construction workers are illegal immigrants — but, because of low salaries, the state is unlikely to be a magnet for unemployed Americans.

  • According to Indeed, the job listing site, Texas construction workers earn about $12.51 an hour, 10% below the national average. They top out at about $21 an hour, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • By comparison, unskilled workers rushed in droves to North Dakota at the peak of the natural gas boom in 2013, when wildcat drillers were paying entry-level rig hands an average of $66,000 a year. They still earn $24.45 an hour, double the average Texas construction worker.

Why it matters: As of now, about 13,500 homes must be rebuilt, along with 30% of the roads in and out of Houston. Congress is expected to approve billions of dollars in recovery funds, but the very real question is who will do the work.

When Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf coast in 2005, construction companies, also strapped for workers, brought in foreign labor, both legally on H-1B visas, and illegally. That led to massive abuses — workers stiffed of their salaries, and some held as effective slave labor.

  • In 2015, five Indian guest workers were awarded $14 million in damages against Signal International, a marine services company that promised to facilitate permanent U.S. residency for its foreign crew in exchange for payments ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each.
  • Martina Vandenberg, who runs the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, said Houston's worker shortage could lead to a similar situation. "I fear that as the flood waters recede, the labor trafficking begins," she told Axios. In an email exchange, she said:

"In order to avoid repeating these abuses, the US government should be paying close attention to visa requests filed to bring workers to Texas. The danger that unscrupulous labor recruiters will use these visas -- H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, J-1, and many more -- to exploit foreign workers is extremely high. In some cases, that labor exploitation will even rise to the level of forced labor, labor trafficking, peonage, and involuntary servitude."

Go deeper

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday, via Axios night owl Hans Nichols:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

Trump, your 2024 GOP nominee

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Former President Trump is telling most anyone who'll listen he will run again in 2024 — and poll after poll shows the vast majority of Republicans would gladly cheer him on and vote for him. 

Why it matters: Trump is the heart, soul and undisputed leader of the Republican Party and will easily win the nomination if he wants it, the polls make unmistakably clear.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

How smartphone cameras became the best cameras

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For years, the smartphone has been the most convenient camera, and in recent years it has also become the easiest and most versatile camera. But this year's high-end smartphones have taken things to a new level — capturing images that would be either tough or impossible even with a high-end digital camera.

Between the lines: Traditional cameras have the advantage of bigger sensors and better lenses, but smartphone cameras are rivaling and even surpassing them by tapping computational power.