Texas companies tie worker shortages to immigration fears

Frank Fuentes, chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association, poses for a photo at the Texas Capitol where is was meeting with

Construction workers work high atop a building under construction, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Austin, Texas. A national immigration cr

Frank Fuentes, chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association, poses for a photo at the Texas Capitol where is was meeting with

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Some Texas businesses have been hit with a loss of immigrant workers in the U.S. illegally.

Businesses say workers are spooked by an immigration crackdown and a tough anti-"sanctuary cities" law approved last month.

Similar fears have sent shockwaves through many sectors of the national economy. In most cases, demographers and economic experts say it's too early to quantify the full impact of workforce shortages fueled by immigration fears. But anecdotal evidence is widespread.

The issue is particularly pronounced in Texas because it's a conservative state and has a large population of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. It also has a new law that allows police to ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop and requires them to turn over immigrants to U.S. immigration authorities upon request.