Judicial Watch Expands Anti-Day Laborer Litigation Strategy

The right-wing litigation group Judicial Watch made it known that that among their top targets are immigrants looking for work when they sued the Los Angeles Police Department over its policy of not asking witnesses or suspects their immigration status; the group was seeking a crackdown on those who “congregate on street corners seeking illegal jobs without fear of police intervention.” JW also sued the suburban town of Herndon, Virginia last year over its day-laborer center, created to alleviate the “chaos in a 7-Eleven parking lot”  — a parking lot which has been manned by members of the local Minutemen vigilante group seeking to expose hiring of labors they believe to be undocumented.

In Laguna Beach, California, south of Los Angeles, the city opened a day-laborer center ten years ago over public-safety concerns, recounted columnist Yvette Cabrera:

“This is not about economics, finances or about immigration rules. This is about preserving the integrity of our neighborhoods,” Mayor Steve Dicterow told me, recalling the days when laborers would congregate at convenience stores and swarm cars in the street.

But after protests and a lawsuit by a local Minutemen member this summer, the site was briefly shut down for lacking permits. It reopened, and now Judicial Watch – along with the same local Minutemen member – is suing Laguna Beach, accusing the city of helping undocumented workers find jobs.

In the Laguna Beach suit, Garcia and Riviere allege the city is violating federal law by spending public funds to operate the Laguna Day Worker Center on Laguna Canyon Road, where mostly Spanish-speaking workers, among them illegal immigrants, find jobs and get English language instruction.