Politically active building service contractors may be in for an interesting ride in coming months, as several hot-button issues make their way through the halls of Congress, most notably immigration reform. As of press time, a bill had been passed in the Senate that would provide for a limited guest-worker program, and increased penalties for employers who violate the law.

Tempers have flared with the temperatures this summer. I’ve seen it in my own city, where discussion over the immigration status of a criminal turned into an ugly shouting match between otherwise genial neighbors.

Immigration has the potential to be an emotional issue in the cleaning industry as well — using undocumented workers to undercut other contractors is a problem ethical BSCs can agree on, but other issues are open to dispute. Immigrants are often very good workers, and on many job sites, the undocumented work quietly and diligently along side their legal counterparts; some BSCs would like to see these workers granted some form of legal recognition. But questions of fairness to those who follow the law and wait their turn, as well as questions of wage suppression, unfair competition and cultural clashes, are likely to be debated as this sensitive issue unfolds.

Keep visiting CLEANLINK for the latest developments in immigration reform. In the meantime, we’d like to find out about your experiences. Drop us a line and let us know what you think.