What Do YOU Think About the “Success” of Orange’s Day Labor Ordinance?

“It’s not just a thing that’s a one-week deal,” [Orange City Council Member] Dumitru said. “This is forever. Will the folks that solicit labor stay off the streets? Or will they test the limits is an interesting question.”

Now of course, Dumitru is talking about the new city ordinance forbidding solicitation for work on city streets and shopping centers. So far, it seems like the ordinance is working in curbing all that runaway solicitation of day labor. Some (that is, those with proof of legal residency) are now going to the Resource Center to find work, while others are going elsewhere.

So what do you think about the current “success” of Orange’s crackdown on day laborers? Is this making the city safer? Is this driving away people who legally have a right to solicit work? Is this working well for everyone?

I want to hear what you have to say about this ordinance and all the controversy surrounding it. Is Orange going too far in enforcing federal immigration and labor law? Or is this the best way to keep the community clean and safe?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away and have your say! :-)

  3 comments for “What Do YOU Think About the “Success” of Orange’s Day Labor Ordinance?

  1. Jonny
    January 18, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I think it’s great. Until someone comes up with a craigslist for illegal services and the Fed’s actually DO something about ILLEGAL immigration, cities have to take action to protect the rest of the community. These people’s need to find work does NOT trump everyone else’s right to use and enjoy their property or business without having people hanging about.

    The real problem is that the Fed won’t do AnYTHING. If we have such a dire need for unskilled labor, then why on earth isn’t the government issuing visas for these people. The reason they sneak across the border is because the feds have historically limited the amount of visas for low education, low skilled manual labor. It’s disingenuous for these politicians to say …”We HAVE to have amnesty” and then have them NOT do anything about modifying the amount of visas if we, in fact, do need millions of low income laborers. It would be much simpler to simply raise the availability of visas and have people come here legally.

  2. January 18, 2008 at 10:16 am

    It would be much simpler to simply raise the availability of visas and have people come here legally.

    I agree with you that the number of green cards is almost certainly too low. However, I’m also concerned that the process of obtaining a green card is geared toward people who are educated and well-off.

    A person coming here to mow lawns is required to go through essentially the same process as a person who’s coming here to perform brain surgery. If we need the lawn mowers, we need a process that’s inexpensive enough and easy enough to understand that you can complete it without being a neurosurgeon.

  3. Ray
    January 18, 2008 at 10:51 am

    It’s interesting to hear “if we need” when it is self evident that portions of our economy rely heavily upon undocumented workers. There are many reasons for this structure, but the primary issue is equally as obvious: cost. If we issued more visas, then those workers would fall under our various minimum wage laws and the businesses who hire them would no longer be as cost-competitive. That would drive up the cost of a wide variety of goods & services or even push companies out of business.

    By keeping them undocumented we can “have our cake & eat it too.” We get the economic benefits of their under-paid labor, we can selectively criminalize & punish when it suits us, we have a ready-made “undesirable” who can be blamed, and we get to feel magnanimous when we offer amnesty.

    I certainly don’t suggest that some who cross the boarder illegally are not in fact dangerous, but the situation we as a society have created & maintained makes it difficult to actually identify & apprehend troublemakers.

    As with many issues in our society, we focus on the supply-side and completely ignore the demand-side of the equation. It’s a guaranteed recipe for failure but it allows us to ignore our own complicity.

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