Protest, in Vista - Attacks on Mexicans worsen

Tuesday, June 27 2006
4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

Vons Parking Lot - 92084
South Santa Fe Ave and Escondido Ave
Vista, CA 92084

Demonstrate against worsening attacks on Mexican workers

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 4:30-7pm in Vista

Please spread the word and think about joining us to demonstrate against Vista's new ordinance against day laborers, and to stand with the workers and our Latino sisters and brothers who are under attack.

DETAILS: We will assemble at 4:30pm in the Vons parking lot, corner South Santa Fe Ave and Escondido Ave, in Vista. This is the most contentious day labor site. When we have enough people, we will form a human chain from this day labor site to Vista City Hall, about 3/4 mile down Escondido Ave, and right into the City Council Chamber, which is only about 15' from the sidewalk on ground level.

SUMMARY: June 27 will be the second reading of an ordinance which passed 5-0 by the Vista City Council on June 13, and is scheduled to become law 30 days after the second reading. The ordinance provides that in order to hire day laborers in Vista, one must register with the City, post the registration visibly in your car, and provide the worker(s) with a "term sheet" containing the terms of the proposed employment, including the address of employer, rate of pay, location of worksite, and how the worker will be transported to and from. A person who hires a day laborer without complying with these provisions can be fined up to $1,000 and jailed for up to six months.

The proposed ordinance was made public only five days before the City Council voted on it. Many residents heard about in the North County Times two days before the vote. Most residents knew nothing about it.

The courts have struck down efforts by other cities to outlaw day laborers with loitering or soliciting ordinances, so the City of Vista is pretending that this sneak-attack ordinance is designed to protect day laborers from possible abuse by employers. The real reason is the "eyesore" created by poor Mexican men looking for work, and a desire to "upgrade" certain parts of Vista.

BACKGROUND: Minutemen have been harassing workers at day labor sites in North County weekly since late January, and pressuring the City to do something about them. Influenced by Lou Dobbs and the current immigrant-scapegoating "hysteria" (Cardinal Roger Mahony's word, with which I agree), the City Council has now put Vista up there with Costa Mesa on the front lines and cutting edge of official immigrant-bashing. The City Council is literally buying a lawsuit and other possible ramifications by attempting an end run around the constitutional rights of both workers and prospective employers. The ordinance is an obvious ploy to discourage and punish employment of day laborers, thereby driving them out of Vista. Protecting workers is a transparent lie which the North County Times called out in their June 14 editorial (news article and editorial attached).

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