Mandatory Day Laborer Shelters In L.A.
AUGUST 14, 2008
It’s official. The nation’s second-largest city, led by a self-proclaimed Chicano mayor, has passed legislation requiring retailers to accommodate illegal immigrant day laborers who create a nuisance when they hang out in parking lots and surrounding neighborhoods looking for work.
Under the new measure, approved unanimously by the Los Angeles City Council this week, home improvement stores that are 100,000 square feet or larger must provide shelters that are easily accessible and equipped with drinking water, bathrooms, tables with seating and trash facilities.
Initially approved by the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, the new "Day Laborer Operating Standards" also require the home-improvement stores to develop a security plan in consultation with local police. That’s because the illegal immigrants who typically loiter in parking lots and surrounding neighborhoods often harass residents, block traffic, urinate in public and litter.
The councilman who spearheaded this rather outrageous law, former Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks, assures that the city is not using it to protect illegal immigrants but rather to provide “dignity” for workers (who are in the country illegally) and control problems where there are no day laborer shelters.
Parks disclosed that the city currently spends about $2 million a year for day labor centers and those taxpayer dollars could be better spent on police, streets or parks within the sprawling municipality of about 4 million residents. A fellow councilman blamed the day laborer crisis on a popular home improvement store, saying that it has not managed the phenomena created by its marketing and targeting of customers that need the temporary workers.
The reality is that the City of Angels is a notorious illegal immigrant sanctuary that even forbids its police department from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status (Special Order 40), a policy legally challenged by Judicial Watch. To blame the crisis on a retail outlet is absurd and unfair when city officials and law enforcement agencies also play a huge role in it.
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