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That’s Debatable:

New job center?

June 05, 2008

Costa Mesa Mayor Eric Bever recently suggested the city consider opening another day laborer job center similar to one in Orange so authorities could do a better job of managing day laborer activity. What do you think of adopting strategies similar to those in the city of Orange?

I am supportive of any measure that will strengthen our ordinance and reduce loitering.

There are legitimate ways for people to find work if they are here legally, but it is clear that most of the people soliciting work in that manner are here illegally and do not have a legal right to work here.

The old job center did not require proof of a legal right to work here, so that issue will need to be addressed.

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Elected officials in some cities say they are “sanctuary cities,” but I will say that Costa Mesa is an “enforcement city” and that strengthening this ordinance and the ICE program are two ways we can make that known.

Allan Mansoor

Costa Mesa Councilman

Last Saturday I observed more than 30 men standing on the sidewalks around the former job center at Placentia Avenue and 17th Street.

The men were standing in groups of three to four.

Similar groups congregate at the 7-Eleven at Placentia Avenue and Victoria Street. These men have a constitutional right to seek work, but many public safety risks and loitering and trash issues are created.

It is time we address this issue and not put our heads in the sand and hope the job seekers go away. They won’t.

The city of Orange’s “Resource Center” provides a central place where people, who must provide legal documentation of citizenship, can seek employment.

But Orange uses the center to provide other services as well.

It is not a stand-alone job center or a job center like the one we used to have in Costa Mesa.

According to Mayor Carolyn Cavecche, by protecting the 1st Amendment rights of job seekers to find jobs, Orange is able to cite those who are loitering or breaking other laws.

I am looking forward to an upcoming study session in which our City Council can study what Orange is doing and other options we have.

The bottom line with me is that until we have a solution, we must strictly enforce the current laws and work to improve safety for everyone: day laborers, pedestrians and motorists in the affected areas.

Wendy Leece

Costa Mesa Councilwoman

Editor’s Note: The remaining Costa Mesa City Council members did not respond.


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