Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MALDEF, ACLU and NDLON File Day Laborers Lawsuit

Kudos to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for rejoining efforts to protect the rights of day laborers in southern California. For several years MALDEF was at the forefront of efforts to protect day laborers from ordinances aimed at restricting their ability to stand on street corners soliciting work. Last week, with recently named President and General Counsel Tom Saenz at the helm, MALDEF re-entered the legal battleground with a lawsuit on behalf of the National Day Labor Organizing Network against the City of Costa Mesa, California. Along with co-counsel from NDLON and the ACLU of Southern California MALDEF is arguing that the Costa Mesa ordinance, which prohibits solicitation of employment on public streets, interferes with the free speech rights of the mostly Latino immigrant workers who comprise the day laborer population. The ordinance prohibits standing on a street to solicit employment or business from the occupants of a vehicle on the roadway. The lawsuit claims that the ordinance violates the workers’ first and fourteenth amendment rights, and seeks an injunction against the implementation of the ordinance. MALDEF and its co-counsel have successfully challenged similar ordinances attempting to curb solicitation speech in other communities. It is commendable that after some years of absence in the field, MALDEF has rejoined efforts to ensure that immigrant workers are afforded the same protection as others exercising their free speech rights. A copy of the MALDEF lawsuit can be found on its website,

Posted by Leticia Saucedo

1 comment:

  1. I join the congratulations to MALDEF, NDLON, and ACLU in filing the recent lawsuit on behalf of day laborers. However, it should be noted that MALDEF has remained active in day labor litigation, most recently with succesful victories on behalf of day laborers in Baldwin Park, CA in 2007 and Cave Creek, AZ in 2008.


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