Immigration-bill boost for Home Depot?

Jeremy Hobson Jun 27, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Lisa Napoli: Lots of businesses are unhappy about the immigration bill that’s being revived in the Senate this week. But for one company, the bill could be a boon — if a particular amendment’s built in. That company is Home Depot.

The amendment would ban local governments across the country from forcing home-improvement stores to build shelters for the day laborers who gather on their properties seeking work. From Washington, Jeremy Hobson reports.

Jeremy Hobson: Atlanta-based Home Depot has a friend in Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson from Georgia. Sen. Isakson hopes to amend the immigration bill to keep local governments from doing what some California cities have done.

Home Depot spokesman Ron DeFeo says when the company opened a store in Burbank last year, a Home Depot-financed day labor center was part of the deal.

Ron DeFeo: A condition of approval required that we built the center and in addition we pay $94,000 a year to the city of Burbank for general police and other services related to that site.

Home Depot may not think it’s fair — but the approach is attractive to local governments considering similar requirements, from the West Coast to Washington, D.C.

They argue home improvement stores are obligated to deal with the day laborers they attract.The Isakson amendment could move forward if the immigration bill survives a key vote tomorrow.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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