Pittsburgh: Temporarily Batman’s Gotham City, Permanently the Home of American Workers

Published on July 29th, 2011

Today, July 28, the temperature in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA is 96 degrees with the humidity about the same.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about hot, humid summer weather the Mid-Atlantic. But, as I walked along the North Shore of the Allegheny River, I noticed several construction crews outside of Heinz Field, best known as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home.

The crews are getting ready to convert Heinz Field into a location for the new movie: Batman, the Dark Knight Rises starring Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. See the trailer here.

Starting today and continuing through August 21, Pittsburgh will be gradually transformed into Gotham City. [Batman Film to Touch Down Here, by Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 13, 2011] http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11195/1160314-60-2.stm

What struck me immediately was that the crews, some local workers from Pittsburgh and others from Warner Brothers, were Americans.

Despite the brutal heat and wilting humidity, they were hauling lumber, pounding nails and moving large props from one end of Heinz Field to another.

Having moved to Pittsburgh from California only three years ago, I’m still somewhat surprised when I see an all-American work force. But in Pittsburgh, it’s the norm. And despite the long held argument by advocates of higher immigration that American workers won’t do tough jobs in adverse conditions, what I saw today at Heinz Field belies that myth.

In fact, I can’t remember ever seeing laborers in Pittsburgh who are anything other than American. Nor can I recall the last time I heard a language except English spoken either at job sites or in public places.

Honestly, the change is refreshing. The concept so highly touted in California by immigration advocates is that nothing gets done unless illegal aliens do it just doesn’t fly in Pittsburgh—or for that matter in the rest of the U.S.

A Center for Immigration Studies’ report titled “Jobs Americans Won’t Do? A Detailed Look at Immigrant Employment by Occupation” showed that of the 465 civilian occupations, only four are majority immigrant. Moreover, those four occupations account for less than 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Native-born Americans comprise 47 percent—nearly half— of workers in these immigrant majority occupations.

The construction laborers who caught my eye today are 65 percent native-born. Excluding Texas, California and Florida, all states with a high immigrant population, the percentage would be much higher.

Almost as odd as my surprised reaction to an American work force is the bewildered look my Pittsburgh friends give me when I explain to them how different California’s construction trade is. They simply can’t believe that the federal government, abetted by Sacramento’s pro-alien bureaucracy, allows illegal immigrants take good jobs away from citizens.

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