The following is a contribution by outside blogger Gregory Sokoloff. Opinions expressed are solely those of Mr. Sokoloff.
Most of these people don’t even have the right to be present in this country, much less to work. And one cannot hire them even for a day without breaking the law. And yet day laborers of League City, Texas, apparently feel so emboldened and sure of their future that they are suing Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the city police department, alleging that it is not them, but the authorities who are breaking the law.
According to a very empathetic report by Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, the laborers used to congregate at a League City parking lot where entrepreneurs willing to take advantage of cheap illegal labor used to pick them up. Police have apparently disrupted this hush-hush black market, but, in doing so, have incurred the wrath not only of the laborers, but also of the Mexican American Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which bills itself as a law firm for the Latino community.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court last year, alleges discrimination and violation of the laborers’ Constitutional rights. No word, of course, about the plaintiffs’ legal status in this country. “In this case, it is very important to know that everybody has a right to work,” Marisa Bono, the lead attorney for MALDEF, told Univision in Spanish. Really? Even those who sneaked across the border illegally?
“In public places, an individual can ask for money for his or her church, and an individual can ask for work,” Ms. Bono went on to say. “And this is part of our rights under the Constitution.” And if an individual does not have a right even to be in this country? Univision, of course, conveniently avoided this prickly question, and so did Ms. Bono.
But when asked if racism was the driving force behind police actions, she answered, as expected, with a resounding “Yes.”
“City police are not focusing on everybody,” Ms. Bono asserted. “They are focusing specifically on day laborers. Okay? And day laborers in League City are Latinos.” And so are most illegal aliens throughout this country. So, it is not difficult to figure out what Ms. Bono and other people at MALDEF think about enforcing our immigration laws.
It’s not the first time that MALDEF is trying to turn our legal system upside down. The scary part is that they have had some successes. In 2010, they managed to strike down an Arizona state law that demanded a really outrageous and discriminatory thing – proof of citizenship before voter registration. And in 2009, President Barack Obama appointed John D. Trasvina, MALDEF’s president the general counsel at the time, assistant secretary of fair housing and equal opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development where he remains to this day.
So, be careful all of you who want our immigration laws enforced. These lawyers have powerful friends in high places.