THANKS to all who emailed or called to let me know your views on the issue of day laborers in Frisco. If you missed the article that ran in the Frisco Enterprise, you can still read that here. It is clearly a many-faceted issue and one that will take some study and planning to resolve. Dialogues such as the one we are having are not only useful but a requirement for a resolution that is fair to all.
The following comments are among those I received during the past week.
…This is the kind of problem that a privately funded organization like Bright Zone Foundation can solve…if we had the $. Turning our backs or locking these people up is not the solution. Perhaps the city can donate land and let a private group build and manage a day labor work center like Plano has?
…I’m split on the worker issue; I don’t have an issue with it but have not used one in the past myself. However I agree I do not stop in there for lunch or gas because I do not want to be swarmed. I would support an effort to relocate based on the business losing out. I understand the city of Dallas has a designated area and the workers are charged $5 to stand there. Not sure how I feel about that, but it could pay for itself and alleviate the problem.
… We don’t have any problem with them being there. In fact, every time I drive past them or stop at The Depot to eat, I say a prayer for them that they will get work that day so that they and their families can eat. We do eat at The Depot fairly often. Granted, I don’t read the police blotter, but I am not aware that they are responsible for violence or theft in the area. Having said all that, I do have an issue with illegal’s taking advantage of our social programs without paying any taxes. But since we benefit from a less expensive labor force, it probably washes out in the end.
…I’ve eaten at The Depot on 2 occasions and 1 was take-out for a Chamber meeting. The other time was a Friday evening and their fried catfish is among the best I’ve ever eaten in my life. That said, I rarely think of the restaurant as I can’t see past all the eyes locked on to mine as I drive by.
…I agree that spending even a nickel of tax payer’s funds is inappropriate. Maybe the answer lies between the lines of the article: a no loitering ordinance. Remember, I said “maybe.” The real answer lies in convincing those hiring to not hire anyone within 2 blocks of Main Street.
…My guess is that the fact that you are seeing more day laborers is a sign of the times. We have a mission church in our City where they line up to work – perhaps a church would be willing to help out?
…It can be a bit annoying or maybe intimidating to pull into that Exxon station, especially if you are driving anything at all that resembles a construction vehicle. However, I pull in frequently and just wave at them to get gas or eat at The Depot. I don’t think it’s a big deal.
…Two Decembers ago I actually borrowed a friend’s pickup. I pulled into the parking lot and got swarmed. They actually got into the truck! I told the guy in the passenger seat “dos” meaning of course 2 workers. He pointed out a friend and I said “him”. The others got out of the truck with no problem. I don’t speak much Spanish but tried to explain I was taking them to help me move an appliance. They didn’t understand and didn’t care. They were just glad to have the work. That’s the only time I’ve used the labor pool but I wouldn’t hesitate to again if I needed it.
…I really don’t have a problem with the gathering of day laborers at that corner. I’ve been driving past there since 1999 and they’ve been there every morning for the 11 years I’ve lived here. My husband and I have used them a couple of times for labor around our yard on Saturdays and they’ve always been polite and very hard workers. We pay them at least $10 for every hour they are here. There is always a “fight” to get into the vehicle – they don’t even ask what it’s for. I have no problem with their presence but I can’t say that for panhandlers or beggars at street corners in other cities (Dallas) who I do feel are a blight on the landscape.
…I have lived in Frisco almost 11 years now and I still go eat at the Depot, usually once a quarter or so and I have never been accosted by those gathered there. Why wouldn’t you patronize the business simply because of the people who are outside? I respect the fact that they are out there trying to work. While standing on a street corner certainly isn’t the only or best way to get a job in Frisco, they aren’t standing there to get a typical job. They are standing there to get short term employment. I’m not aware of any criminal activity real or alleged that has taken place in the area since they have been standing there and given the sensitivity on this issue if there were I’m sure we would have heard.
…The city of Farmers Branch has spent millions of tax dollars litigating who has the right to enforce citizenship laws. Until a time has come that it is clear that enforcement of immigration law is within the local jurisdiction, then the recourse here should not be local but to work with your congressman to change federal laws to better allow for local enforcement. Or perhaps the best solution: come up with real immigration reform that works.
…Definitely needs to be addressed. Having moved here from El Paso I can speak to this subject from many different directions.
Geoffrey is the “Frisco Mortgage Guy”!
P.S. I use DropBox as a more secure way to move papers back and forth – FREE! If you sign up from this link – we BOTH get an extra amount of storage space, still FREE!!!