Illegal Workers Claim U-Haul Is Racist

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by GotZoom, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    A sign urging the customers of a San Rafael business not to hire day laborers has angered and frustrated local workers, who say it's making it harder for them to find a job.

    But employees of U-Haul on East Francisco Boulevard who posted the sign say they're only trying to protect their customers - and themselves - from the risks involved in hiring undocumented workers.

    The large cardboard sign, on display in the moving company's customer service area for the past three days, reads "Please do not hire illegal laborers. We have had numerous reports of injuries, thefts and damages to personal belongings. It is a federal crime to employ or pick up illegal day laborers, punishable by a $5,000 fine."

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will impose fines upon those who knowingly hire someone who is not authorized to work in the United States. However, not everyone who seeks work as a day laborer is an illegal alien.

    "One of the things our study found is that, in localities where immigration sweeps have occurred, it's never the case that all the people picked up are deportable," said Robin Toma, who evaluated San Rafael's ongoing conflict over day laborers as part of a 2001 report for the Los Angeles County Human Rights Commission. "The presumption that they're all illegal is, in fact, inaccurate."

    In addition, San Rafael police say they've heard nothing about damage to property caused by local laborers.

    "We've had businesses call regarding day laborers trespassing on the property of the business owners," said San Rafael police Sgt. David Starnes. "And if people were violating the law by stopping in the middle of the roadway to pick up laborers, we would certainly cite them. But there have been no significant problems."

    U-Haul Assistant Manager V.J. Singh said he hasn't received any complaints from customers about thefts or damage caused by laborers in the past year.

    "That was a long time ago," Singh said.

    The sign, he said, was an attempt to head off problems before they occur. U-Haul doesn't want to be held responsible for crimes that could be committed by someone hired on or near its property.

    "Some of these (day laborers) they deal with are good, and some aren't," Singh said. "We're telling them what could happen, and that if they choose to hire someone, it's at their own risk."

    Emilio Robles doesn't see it that way.

    The Canal Street resident is one of about 10 who gather outside the U-Haul building every morning - weekends included - in search of work. He doesn't like being characterized as a potential criminal.

    "It's racist," Robles said. "They're trying to put Mexicans out of work. We need to work in order to feed our families, and we need jobs in order to work. We're not here looking for a handout. We want to work."

    Singh said he sympathizes with the problem.

    "Everyone needs to work. That's how I see it," said Singh, who said he has heard no complaints from any of the laborers outside the U-Haul office. "The sign is just so that people don't complain to us about anything that happens on our property."

    The dispute over the sign is the latest chapter in a long series of disagreements over the role of immigrant labor in the community - a dispute that has scuttled plans to build a hiring center for laborers in the past.

    "This is an issue with a long history," said Tom Wilson, co-executive director of the Canal Alliance, an agency that provides assistance to local laborers.

    Wilson said he has already received about a dozen complaints about the U-Haul company's sign.

    "The tack they're taking is a particularly troubling one," Wilson said. "They're painting illegal day workers as criminals, making generalizations about a group of people." *My Comment - HELLO!?! They are illegal. They are criminals. People who do something illegal are ciminals. HELLO!?!*

    In the absence of a central hiring area, Wilson said, workers tend to go where they're needed. Painters look for work near paint stores, and movers gather near companies like U-Haul.

    "I would like to see them have a good place to go where they could be hired, someplace with dignity," Wilson said.

    Toma agreed. After studying a number of communities - including San Rafael - and their approach to day laborers, Toma concluded that areas with designated spots for laborers to gather did best at addressing both the problems laborers face and the fears many in the surrounding community feel.

    "People complain that crime will increase in the presence of these areas. But we've never seen evidence of that," Toma said. "If anything, we believe that where there are a lot of day laborers hanging around, looking around, it may actually discourage other kinds of crime."

    As for the sign, Wilson said he plans to speak with the owner of the U-Haul company to ask that it be removed.

    "We're seeing a noticeable drop-off in people being hired," he said.

    Both Singh and Robles agree, however, that the sign has not discouraged workers from continuing to gather outside the company.

    "I'm inside most of the time, but there seems to be the same number of people who have always been here," Singh said.

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  2. Trigg
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    Trigg Active Member

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    It is a federal crime to employ or pick up illegal day laborers, punishable by a $5,000 fine."


    NOW, if the gov. would just enforce this law the amount of illegals coming into this country would probably decrease. :whip:
     
  3. fuzzykitten99
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    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

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    um...maybe it's just me, but i would think standing in the same place every day, thinking you would be hired without actually applying for anything, going to any interviews, submitting resumes, would not yield very good results.

    This is the problem that many immigrants are facing, where they are told by liberals that things can just be handed to you, rather than making an effort, and traveling outside the one block radius that they stand on.

    Newsflash to people from other countries cough*mexico*cough, most companies expect you to at least fill out some type of application, with all your information including a valid SSN, and many now do credit checks on you. It has nothing to do with race, so can that argument.
     
  4. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    There's also such a thing as an unemployment office where you can look for work!!! OH WAIT I FORGOT.. THEIR ILLEGALS ..They can't go there.. :bangheads
     

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