Friday, September 14, 2007

Los Angeles May Require Home Improvement Centers To Provide Permanent Day Laborer Centers At Private Expense


O.K., Anchor Towners, are you still looking for a reason to support Assemblyman Paul Bauer's proposed immigration reform ordinance? I got just the ticket for you.

Yes, I know we're a long way from reaching the stage where Los Angeles is at right now. But what Paul Bauer and the 73% who voted support for him on KTUU's poll just a couple of days ago want is to prevent us from reaching that point in the first place. In other words, deal with the problem while it is still small.

And the problem in L.A. is so out of hand that there are multiple centers where day laborers, most of them obviously illegals, hang out looking for work. It's positively feudalistic in concept. Typically they assemble at a staging location early in the day, then prospective employers drive up and pick out the laborers they think will work best. Darwinian selection of the fittest. What a giant step backwards in workers' rights!

Because the proliferation of these day laborer centers is generating a host of social problems, including loitering, public drunkenness, public urination, petty theft, and just plain ornery behavior in general, the Los Angeles City Council's Housing, Economic, and Community Development Committee has come up with an idea - require the large home improvement centers occupying 100,000 square feet or more, like Home Depot, to create designated waiting areas for day laborers. The Committee already runs eight such centers at an annual cost of $200,000 in grants. The Committee's hope is that the creation of these areas at the big box stores will pull in the other day laborers at other sites. Eventually, day laborers would be hanging out at fewer locations. Full story published by the Los Angeles Daily News. Hat tip to Western Voices World News, where I found this story.

But there's a catch - the City Council wants the big box stores to pay for the day laborer centers. And, according to the Corruption Chronicles website, these centers must be safe, cool, and have bathrooms.

And they've already dry-ran the procedure. Last month, the City Council delayed the opening of a Home Depot store in Sunland-Tujunga in part to deal with the day laborer question.

Council President Eric Garcetti reacted. "I think all of us get the most calls about liquor stores, bars and home improvement stores," said Garcetti said. "None are inherently bad entities, but they can have a bad spillover effect."

Damian Jones of Home Depot said the firm wants to work with the city to deal with the issue. "We would like to work with the city on a positive approach," Jones said. "We believe we're a good corporation and want to be a good corporate citizen."

How to pay is up for debate. Damian Jones of Home Depot said his firm is willing to rent part of its land to the city for such centers at $1 a year and would build a facility for the workers. However, attorneys for the company said they are concerned about the ongoing costs after construction and suggested the city measure include provisions to divert sales tax revenue from the stores to pay for such gathering places. But city council members said they wanted to leave funding options open.

Commentary: Any reason why the private sector should be asked to pony up for a solution to a problem that government created in the first place by failing to control our borders? Isn't it time we quit allowing government to evade accountability and responsibility for its mistakes?

Note the absence of discussion of any more practical measures to solve the problem. There's no discussion of the possibility of immigration agents swooping down on these day laborer congregations, culling out the illegals, processing and deporting them. There's also no discussion of the possibility of undercover law enforcement posing as day laborers and busting employers who knowingly hire laborers without checking for legal residency.

We are allowing people who broke into our country to become a permanent underclass in our country. How do these day laborers support themselves in an environment where single-family homes average $500,000 and apartments rent for $1,000-$1,500 per month? They double, triple, and quadruple up, creating additional turmoil in the neighborhoods where they live.

And yes, we can live without them. We can pay more for goods at Walmart. We can allow some "jobs" to go unfilled. We can definitely do without their "diversity". What we cannot continue to tolerate is the estimated 20 million illegals in our country forming a permanent serf class toiling for a pittance and becoming a potential fifth column. Laws don't permit us to cull them and ship them out? Change the laws. Judges overrule the laws? Remove the judges. Just solve the problem.

And in Anchorage, Alaska, Assemblyman Paul Bauer wants to prevent the problem in the first place. The Latino lobbies who support these illegals don't care about their welfare. They just want to deliver their bodies and their votes to the highest bidders.

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