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Peninsula | Immigrant Rights | Front Page

Thu May 14 2009 (Updated 05/15/09)
NIMBY Group Loses Anti-Day Worker Center Appeal
Thu May 14 2009 (Updated 05/15/09)
Mountain View City Council Upholds Decision in Favor of Day Worker Center
Last year, Mountain View Day Worker Center supporters purchased an abandoned cinderblock building next to railroad tracks on Escuela Avenue in Mountain View, California. Plans are in place for day workers to help renovate the building and make improvements to the neighborhood, but NIMBY ("not in my back yard") neighbors nevertheless called in a Washington D.C. based group, Judicial Watch, to advise them on protecting their neighborhood from "illegal" immigrants.

Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that initiates legal battles against day laborer centers around the country. Through their "sanctuary busters" program, they make the claim that day laborer centers violate federal immigration law by hiring undocumented immigrants. In April, a representative of Judicial Watch addressed a meeting of Escuela Avenue residents, calling it a "public education effort."

Judicial Watch has filed lawsuits in Herndon, Virginia, and Laguna Beach, California. But Chris Newman, the legal director of a national group of day laborer centers, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, called Judicial Watch's lawsuits baseless, pointing out that they are meant to generate anti-immigrant sentiments and intimidate people.

The city council remains stalwart in the face of threats of a lawsuit by members of the neighborhood group. The council initially approved the Day Worker Center's permit on May 5. On May 12, with a unanimous vote, the council turned down the NIMBY group's appeal of the council's earlier decision. Read more

Nimby Group Loses Anti-Day Worker Center Appeal | National Day Laborer Organizing Network