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#1 2005-08-01 10:29:13

Anne
Moderator
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 3,833

Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

The Minutemen sure have stirred things up in Houston.

Oh, and it's not just about diversity, harmony and peace.  We forgot about compassion:

A regular police community meeting near Shepherd and Washington last week drew more than 70 residents and business owners, including many who expressed frustration with day laborers.

The problem "is way worse than it was three or four years ago," said Michael Tones, the vice president of New Plan Excel Realty Trust, which owns a shopping center in the area. Tones said customers are frightened by the men loitering along Shepherd near 11th Street.

Juan Alvarez, an activist working to organize the day laborers in that area, asked homeowners to be compassionate.

"I know it is a problem for most of you, but on the other side they are human beings, too," Alvarez said.

So, what's the solution?  Why, build more "day labor sites," at city expense of course:

At a separate meeting, Joe Rubio, a representative of Catholic Charities who also heads the Mayor's Office on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, introduced a proposal to place a day labor center in each quadrant of the city. The centers would be located away from residential neighborhoods, and would offer language classes and other education.

Rubio estimates that each center would cost a "minimum" of $150,000 a year. Councilman Gordon Quan said he doubted the council would provide $600,000 to fund the four sites, but Rubio and others said private funding could help offset the costs.

In the East End, a day labor center has reopened using $90,000 from the city, $50,000 from Bank of America and volunteer work from representatives of Exxon Mobil Corp.

That's awfully defeatist of Councilman Quan.  Mayor White can be pretty persuasive, and if the mayor decides he wants $600,000 to build centers where "immigrants" can take educational classes, get help with identification papers and find employment, he'll figure out a way to make it happen.

Besides, those red light cameras will have plenty of revenue flowing into city coffers real soon. 

UPDATE: Chris Baker is discussing this topic today. He interviewed Joe Rubio (mentioned in the Chron's story) who passed along an interesting tidbit: day laborers have complained about being picked up for jobs and then not paid by homeowners and contracters. So HPD has it set up where laborers can lodge a complaint with HPD about people who don't pay them.

Interesting, huh? Chief Hurtt insists that HPD does not have the resources to ask people if they are here legally, but HPD does have the resources to go after the homeowners and contractors who rip them off.

Of course as Chris points out, it's terrible that anyone would not uphold his promise to pay, but if the people who are here illegally weren't encouraged to be here, maybe they wouldn't be victimized in the first place.



Link to post: http://www.bloghouston.net/item/1619

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#2 2005-08-01 11:45:15

Sedosi
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From: Hanging with the road kill
Registered: 2005-05-04
Posts: 1,011
Website

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

"At a separate meeting, Joe Rubio, a representative of Catholic Charities who also heads the Mayor's Office on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs"

So much for separation of Church and State.

Can you imagine the howl if Gov. Perry placed the head of the State Southern Baptist Convention in a key policy position?

Kudos to the Com. for at least pointing that out. Which is an improvement.

S.


Taking long walks off the short pier of sanity.

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#3 2005-08-01 13:06:02

Don_Mynack
Member
Registered: 2004-11-05
Posts: 94

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

Couldn't this be done privately for a whole lot less that $150,000/year? What are they putting in those things, anyway? Just running the numbers, it seems one could: 1) Rent a vacant lot and clear it (rent $500, one time clear fee of $1000), 2) Put in a couple of port-a-johns ($200/month, or buy them) 3) Build an open sided shelter (Optional, but I wouldn't pay more that $2000, including running power over to it) would offset the cost by putting a couple of vending machines, 4) Fence (most expensive item, if not already there, $2000), 5) Sign ($200, max).  I could charge workers, say, $2/day to hang out until noon, then they get kicked out. I figure if you haven't been hired by noon, it ain't gonna happen that day. Total expenses: $5900 to start up, $900/month in expenses for the "bare bones" version shown here, total yearly cost: $15,800 (and this is assuming I am making nothing from the "gate" or the vending machines). Now, certainly I have missed a few things here, but I don't see where the other $135,000 comes from in the budget.

Last edited by Don_Mynack (2005-08-01 13:06:45)

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#4 2005-08-01 16:37:30

rorschach
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From: Spring, Texas
Registered: 2005-01-05
Posts: 3,926
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Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

Just make sure you close the gate after they have congregated and call ICE.


http://redinktexas.blogspot.com/
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
Samuel Adams

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#5 2005-08-01 17:40:43

mattbramanti
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From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2005-01-04
Posts: 507
Website

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

Sedosi, I'd much rather have a mayoral official/Catholic layman potentially violate "Separation of Church and State" (which is not in the Constitution) than have a religious test for public servants (which is expressly forbidden by the Constitution).

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#6 2005-08-01 19:12:02

Sedosi
Member
From: Hanging with the road kill
Registered: 2005-05-04
Posts: 1,011
Website

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

Matt wrote:

Sedosi, I'd much rather have a mayoral official/Catholic layman potentially violate "Separation of Church and State" (which is not in the Constitution) than have a religious test for public servants (which is expressly forbidden by the Constitution).

Not my point, my point is can you imagine the howl if a Conservative appointed someone with a similar background to a similar position.

Do you think the Com. would be so forgiving then?

Personally I could give two hiccups what the guy does outside of his position.  If he's qualified then what does it matter to me?

S.


Taking long walks off the short pier of sanity.

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#7 2005-08-02 08:30:51

rorschach
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From: Spring, Texas
Registered: 2005-01-05
Posts: 3,926
Website

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

Personally, I am so pissed off about this I could spit! WHO THE HELL DOES WHITE THINK HE IS FLAGRANTLY VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW WHILE CLAIMING HE DOESN'T HAVE THE MONEY TO ARREST ILLEGALS? I feel a Dean moment coming on... AAAARRRRGHHHHH! That feels better now...


http://redinktexas.blogspot.com/
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
Samuel Adams

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#8 2005-08-03 01:03:09

ttyler5
Member
Registered: 2005-01-13
Posts: 457

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

The time has come to sue the city, mayor White, his police cheif, Quan, Joe Rubio, the Catholic Charities, Bank of America and Exxon Mobil...

Last edited by ttyler5 (2005-08-03 01:05:02)

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#9 2005-08-03 09:32:09

rorschach
Member
From: Spring, Texas
Registered: 2005-01-05
Posts: 3,926
Website

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

If I were living in the city limits, I think I already would have filed it. Why hasn't the Federal Prosecutor arrested the city council and mayor and police chief for aiding and abetting federal crimes?


http://redinktexas.blogspot.com/
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
Samuel Adams

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#10 2005-08-04 03:49:16

ttyler5
Member
Registered: 2005-01-13
Posts: 457

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

"Why hasn't the Federal Prosecutor arrested the city council and mayor and police chief for aiding and abetting federal crimes?"  :^D  :^D  :^D :^D

1) He doesn't live in the city limits either?

2) He has illegals doing his yardwork?

3) If he did so, there would be nobody left in charge of the city government and Metro might take over?

4) His brother's a fireman who owes him money and he wants him to get a raise first?

5) He's afraid of the train system and won't drive in downtown Houston?

6) He's getting to them, but he wants to cuff the Archbishop first??

Last edited by ttyler5 (2005-08-04 03:58:35)

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#11 2005-08-04 14:21:25

FriendinVA
Member
Registered: 2005-08-04
Posts: 1

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

There is reason to hope.  In Virginia, Texas and across the nation the issue of day laborer accommodation is bubbling, if not yet boiling. 

The Town of Herndon, Virginia is currently considering committing public resources to facilitate criminal activity by illegal aliens.  Until 2 AM last night, Herndon’s Planning Commission was considering an application by an organization representing itself as "Project Hope and Harmony" (PHH) for a conditional use permit for a "Day Laborer" site to be situated on Town of Herndon property.  The Planning Commission finally saw the light of day and turned down the application.

Judicial Watch represents concerned residents and taxpayers of the Town of Herndon and Fairfax County who oppose this unlawful scheme.  The PHH proposal entails committing public funds and resources to facilitate the illegal employment of undocumented aliens - a crime.  This is akin to taxpayer dollars being used to fund a re-light district or an open-air drug market, so that "customers" and "suppliers" can have safe, well-run locales in which to carry out their illegal transactionns.

According to JW's website, Federal immigration laws make it illegal to "encourage or induce an alien come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law." 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv). Federal immigration laws also make it unlawful to aid or abet the commission of such acts. 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(v)(II).   

Also, Virginia law specifically prohibits public officials from acting outside the scope of their legal authority by engaging in illegal acts or committing public resources in furtherance of a crime (Arlington County v. White, 259 Va.708 (2000)).   

Should the Town Council go forward with their plans to illegally expend taxpayer resources, Judicial Watch will seek relief through the courts.  This litigation will serve as a model for Houston and other localities across the country seeking to block such illegal activities.

Last night's victory is a battle won, but the struggle continues.  If the citizens of Herndon can't persuade the town government and county to obey the law, perhaps a court can.

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#12 2005-08-04 17:05:48

Bill F
Member
From: Houston
Registered: 2005-01-07
Posts: 634

Re: Red light cameras can help with Houston's day laborer problem

I am with you that the concept of day labor centers facilitates the commission of a crime.  I am just wondering how many other programs that are liberal favorites could be accused of the same thing?  The first one that comes to mind is needle exchange programs...why give a guy a clean needle to inject his illegal drugs with? 

I understand the health care implications and motives, but I tend to look at people who die of diseases spread by infected needles or from drug overdoses as practicing social darwinism.  They are thinning the herd by killing off the stupid ones.  Now if only Bin Laden could have successfully poisoned the cocaine supply.  He has no idea how much of a favor he would have been doing us.


"Common Sense" is not nearly as common as the name would tend to indicate...

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