HOUSTON (AP) — Guillermo Miranda Vazquez starts his day in a parking lot near the Home Depot where he easily finds work alongside other day laborers who are cleaning up Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
Some days, he clears rotted drywall and hauls out furniture and carpet destroyed by Harvey’s floodwaters. Other days, he chops fallen trees or helps to lay the foundations for new homes. He ventures daily into homes wearing a T-shirt, work pants and tennis shoes, often while surrounded by the pungent stench and raw sewage that flowed into homes during the flooding.
“I always wash and scrub myself, and I use alcohol or something similar so that I don’t get infected,” said Miranda, a native of Guatemala. “I haven’t gotten sick yet.”
Hundreds of day laborers like Miranda have quietly become an integral part of the recovery from Harvey, toiling in dangerous conditions amid the fear of being picked up by immigration authorities.
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