The City Council of Pasadena, Calif. has approved an ordinance that prohibits
employers from stopping on the street to hire day laborers.
The Pasadena Star-News reports that a number of other cities have passed laws in attempts to reduce the number of day laborers on public streets. Courts
have struck down many of the ordinances as unconstitutional, the newspaper reports.
In Pasadena, drivers would face a $100 fine if they stop to hire day laborers
in areas designated as "no solicitation" zones, according to the newspaper.
Supporters of the ordinance say it is narrow enough to pass legal challenge
because it would target the drivers picking up the day laborers, not the workers
Opponents disagree, the newspaper reports.
"People have the right to congregate on sidewalks," says Thomas Saenz,
an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund in Los Angeles. "It's
a protected right, and this tries to limit that right out of animosity toward
Pasadena has a nonprofit center dedicated to providing job training and work
that pays at least minimum wage for day laborers, but most day laborers opt
to wait in the street, according to Hanford Dixon, the center's outreach coordinator.
Saenz and Dixon tell the newspaper that with more funding the center could
attract more day laborers and employers.