Freedom Folks

Thursday, January 05, 2006

5 Day Laborers Arrested in Cicero

Five day laborers were arrested Wednesday morning and charged with trespassing as they sought work, along with about 40 others, outside a Home Depot store in Cicero.

The arrests were the first at the store since the summer, which saw 55 people arrested there in June, July and August, a spokesman for the day laborers said.
It's all here.

B. Loewe, a spokesman for the Latino Union, which claims to represent the day laborers, said laborers have been gathering in the parking lot for the last 10 years. Loewe said the workers go there to connect with employers and did so without opposition from Home Depot officials until last summer.

"If it wasn't a problem in the past, they haven't explained why it's a problem now," he said Wednesday.
If the day laborers were trespassing, they were trespassing. Home Depot doesn't have to explain why it's a problem.

The arrests occurred about 9 a.m. after Home Depot officials called police to complain, Proft said. Employees pointed out the laborers who employees said were asked to leave but refused.

The five arrested were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing and released on their own recognizance. Loewe said he thought the workers and officials at the West 26th Street and South Cicero Avenue store had reached a tacit agreement by which store officials would not disturb the workers.
The problem with a tacit agreement is that it's -- you guessed it -- TACIT. The day laborers may have been taking advantage of whatever reason the Home Depot had for not doing anything about it in the past, but it's their right to call the police at any time if someone is trespassing on their property.

"If looking for work is a crime, then we are criminals," said (Victor) Meza, a father of four who does a variety of construction and maintenance work. He said standing in the parking lot is only way he knows to find employers to hire him.

Actually, looking for work IS a crime if you're doing it illegally. I don't know Mr. Meza, so I can't answer that question. But since the charge is trespassing, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say that the crime of reference is TRESPASSING. Sounds pretty clear-cut to me.

Home Depot officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Home Depot spokesman Yancey Casey said in August that the company has a non-solicitation policy and that it is up to individual stores to enforce the rule.
The multi-faceted problem of illegal immigration was recently tossed around in our comments section between myself and our friendly neighborhood troll. He got on my case about trying to make it too simple. I'll stand by my response:

There is no one thing we can do to make it better, but I will cheer like hell when I see a glimmer of hope that even one piece of the puzzle might see the light of day...

Thank you, Home Depot of Cicero, for doing something positive about your piece of the puzzle.



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