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Day Worker video aims to go 'beyond stereotypes'

Original post made on Jul 18, 2011

In an effort to share their stories with the community -- and with help of a variety of local organizations -- a group of migrant workers affiliated with the Day Worker Center of Mountain View has produced a short documentary about their experiences coming to and working in the United States.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 18, 2011, 11:14 AM

Comments (35)

Posted by Harry, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

By creating Day Worker Centers, we are supporting Mexico's atrocious human rights essence, we are abetting the horrific conditions that would cause a huge number of Mexican citizens to have a mass exodus. Then, we (Americans) exploit their labor and encourage these Mexican citizens to live a second class life that is marginally better than what they escaped in Mexico.
It is much more humane and morally right to NOT allow Mexico to treat citizens so badly that they feel the need to escape over the border. To act as though Mexican citizens are so inferior in intelligence as to be unable to fix their own country, is to hire a day worker.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm

If the equipment was provided by the Midpeninsula Community Media Center and most of the production was carried out by amateurs, I would like to know where the budget of $33,500 was spent.

Posted by RespectThe Law, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

The administration and members of the Day Worker Center flaunt their violation of U.S. Immigration Law. It is one thing to work for Immigration Reform and another thing to thumb your nose at the law and those of us who believe in obeying the law.

Why doesn't the Voice write about legal immigrants, both those here on a visa and those who have become naturalized citizens?

Posted by SimpleQuestion from a white man, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm

How can you be "honest" if you are not here legally or paying taxes? I appreciate the plight of Mexicans and understand why they'd want a better life, but it should not be done at the expense of others. I have to agree with Jon Feere's assessment that this is not helpful to American society.

Let's find a way to find it simpler (not necessarily easier), quicker, and less expensive for people to become a legal citizen.

Posted by Ken A., a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Re. Day workers not paying taxes - as a small business owner, it is actually the employer's responsibility to assess, collect and remit the taxes. How many day workers are "hired" by individuals who do not pay those taxes? Probably most including politicians of all parties who should know better. Many of these workers do not receive the SS benefits when taxes are withheld from their paychecks. They pay, but do not receive because they are part of the underground economy.

Posted by TiredOfTheAgenda, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I'm sure the video chronicles those that work tirelessly to save for their trip while waiting years for their turn through the legal process. No? Innocent oversight, for sure. But certainly they interviewed the widow whose family was gunned down by an illegal at an intersection in SF... just for not getting out of the way? No? Hmmm... how 'bout a few out of work legal immigrants that can't get a job? The mother who's child died because all the trauma centers in downtown closed because they could not afford to keep the doors open with all the illegals lacking insurance? I'm sure all those will be in the sequel. News flash... Just because it is a logical decision for someone to break the law does not mean it is the right decision, nor does it mean we should ignore that said law was violated.

Posted by Ed, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Oh please, what a load of garbage. Round up these illegals and throw them out of the country. This paper just panders to illegal immigrants and there cause and ignores the cost to the state and taxpayers.

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm

This is not a "recession." This is a full-blown Depression: double-digit unemployment and double-digit inflation. Engineered by the same culprits as the last one: the banks.

Posted by Juan C, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Wow. So many bigots in the Voice town square.

Posted by The Eye, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm

The Eye is a registered user.

"The bottom line is, we are all here and we are sharing this community," Margolies said. "We want to be able to build each other up and not divide each other."

If you come into this country LEGALLY, you are welcome to be an American, and enjoy all the rights and privileges you are entitled to. If you came here ILLEGALLY, you are NOT welcome, you are a criminal, and you are stealing American jobs. It really IS as simple as that.

Or are you just stupid beyond all recognition, for crying out loud?

Anyone saying differently, must either have illegals doing their gardening, or are simply ignorant, liberal fools.

When YOUR jobs go away, you will see our point...just wait and see.

Mark my words.

Posted by Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm

So much hatred for a group of people that are trying to better their lives. Reminds me of how the irish were treated when they first came to this country in mass.

To the Eye: Whose jobs are the gardeners you so callously dismiss stealing?

Posted by TiredOfTheAgenda, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm

It is neither bigoted nor hateful to embrace legal immigrants from around the world, of all races and religions, while simultaneously insisting that our laws be enforced independent of race, religion or country of origin.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2011 at 7:28 am


You've fallen into the biggest hole of your logic. Even gardeners should be expected to immigrate legally. Even house cleaner, nannies, and restaurant dish washers. Or are you going to tell me that no one would apply for Visas because they wouldn't want the jobs or the opportunity to immigrate? Employers, large, small, and homeowners should also be prosecuted for hiring illegals. End of discussion.

Posted by Mandy, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 19, 2011 at 9:50 am

I haven't seen this video/documentary, but what do you think the odds are that this solid proof of identity and confession of guilt won't result in one single deportation? I'm sure it will end up recieving some kind of grant or documentary recogition.

Posted by Becky Sanders, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

I think the level of vituperative dialog and flaming ignorance here in much of the bigoted commentary just goes to show how much a documentary like this is needed. It's obvious that many people don't really care or understand and desire any insight into the issues surrounding being a day worker in our community. Well leave room for the rest of us that would like to understand and do something positive in our community. Why are they here? What are their backgrounds? Wouldn't you come to America to send your paycheck home if it meant a loved one could get expensive medical treatment back home they need to live? I don't understand the unwillingness of some to go beneath the surface and learn about the day workers. Maybe you'll see the ugly underbelly of racism in America and see yourself.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Your right about the flaming ignorance of the rule of law. And those poor illegals sending money home, did stop and think about those hope-to-be-immigrants patiently waiting while they obey our immigration laws? I'm sorry, I can't hear you? And what's not ugly about about a large group of people wantonly breaking the law while others obey it? Oh that's right, it all has to do with racism now!

Posted by Zooza, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Hopefully the documentary will discuss the massive amount of ID theft the illegal immigrants are engaging in. Hopefully we'll hear the stories of the millions of Americans who are having their credit histories destroyed by these individuals. Maybe we'll get a look at the young children whose ID's have become prized possessions in the illegal immigrant community since it will be more than a decade until the American victim comes of age, finds their first job, and subsequently discovers they owe thousands of dollars in back taxes.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

@Becky -

There are many people whose situations would benefit from being allowed to live and work in the US. US immigration law provides an avenue for foreign nationals to apply for immigration so that each case can be considered on its own merits in a consistent and fair manner. Allowing individuals to decide for themselves whether or not they can move to the US will result in inconsistent and unfair immigration.

I would love to hear why these individuals felt that immigration law does not apply to them. Did Jose think he was the only one with medical expenses? Did he think his situation was more dire than anyone waiting for an application approval?

Posted by member, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

This whole article, documentary, and series of comments in favor of illegal immigration is truly getting out of control. Our country has a series of laws, as do other countries. Some of those laws deal with immigration. It is ILLEGAL to enter our country without proper documentation. As was mentioned above, what makes one person more deserving of living in our country than someone else? I am so tired of listening to the bleeding hearts say that they are just looking for a better life and want to help their family members at home. Well, guess what? There are apparently millions of other people with the same gut wrenching stories. And frankly, with the situation our country is currently in, a lot of us are having to help our own families, so hearing these stories, and seeing them draining our resources and further damaging our country, really frosts my cake.
Please, PLEASE someone write an article about a deserving immigrant going through the process the LEGAL way. Oh, that would show everyone how much paperwork and time they have spent attempting to become citizens. Not exactly the type of story that the MV Voice likes to write, apparently, since I can't remember ever reading one. Maybe someone out there can correct me and tell me about such a story. I guess my mind is so full of Day Worker, boo-hoo illegal immigrant stories that my brain is too full to remember. We are a nation of laws, that is what makes us such an incredible country. However, since this particular law is being broken so diligently and the bleeding hearts are looking the other way and helping them to break those laws, we are in danger of becoming totally unrecognizable as a nation. One last thought - just about all countries have immigration laws, and if broken, have incredibly stiff penalties. We can't even seem to send them back to their own country. That sure does make us look weak - oh yeah, we've looked weak ever since the current president took office.

Posted by UhOh, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

you had me until the last statement buddy. I'm as conservative as they come in MV, but our immigration problems certainly did not start with our current pResident. Luckily, history teaches us the wrong way to deal with it... a guest worker program has been tried before... Reagan tried amnesty... are we any closer to a sane immigration policy? Why don't we try enforcing the laws we have and dissuading foreigners and employers from breaking immigration and employment laws? And if that does not work? Time to secure the border, which I'd argue should really be the first step anyway.

Posted by member, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm


Just to clarify - I wasn't only referring to a weak immigration policy. I am fully aware that this problem has been around for a while. I was referring to his lack of leadership and the way he cow-tows to other countries. He is perceived as weak, rude, and ineffectual. A joke, as it were. And yes, I agree with you 100%. It is time to secure the border. Enough is enough. It is definitely the first place to start.

Posted by Mandy, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

Thank you! I was beginning to wonder if I was a minority in my opinion on people breaking our laws and thumbing it in our faces. And your thoughts on our President are exactly what I've been saying since the bible he used to take his oath cooled under his (back)hand. There is no bus too big nor too small that this man will not throw his own country under. Did anyone else notice that China specifically asked the White House NOT to host the Dalai Lama (of whom I have no opinion of one way or the other), yet sure enough, what do we see on the news? Our freak'n leader sitting in the White House chatting it up with the Dalai Lama. If Obama has no issue in pissing off the ONE country that could truely squash us like a bug (at least financially) why should he care to exhert the leadership we bestowed upon him by asking non-Americans to obey our laws.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm


"China specifically asked the White House NOT to host the Dalai Lama (of whom I have no opinion of one way or the other), yet sure enough, what do we see on the news? Our freak'n leader sitting in the White House chatting it up with the Dalai Lama"

Ummmm... that's an example of leadership (defying a foreign country).

Maybe you want to come up with a different example?

Or maybe you want to get back to the topic - illegal immigration. There have been seven amnesties for illegal immigration - none of them under Obama.

Posted by member, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm


Really? I don't even know where to start. I was talking about our local issues and our very weak president. Don't pick on Mandy because you think our ineffectual pres is doing such a great job. When was the last time you heard of anyone in our city, or anyone on the Peninsula, being deported? We are sanctuary cities - that is the issue that I am talking about. We continually support our Day Workers, and anyone else with a sob story who is here ILLEGALLY, in any way possible - financially, medically, educationally, and the list goes on ad nauseum. They are never asked for papers, which should be required. We, as citizens, will be committing an illegal act if we hire someone who is here illegally. HELLO!! Does anyone get how ridiculous this whole thing is?! We go to the Day Worker Center, hire a "possibly" illegal immigrant, and we can be penalized. Where is the logic? Where are the officials who are supposed to be checking issues like this out and dealing with them immediately and in a lawful way? We have to follow the laws of this country or we have to suffer the consequences. That goes for EVERYONE! We CANNOT choose those whom we feel sorry for and give them a pass because "they are just trying to make a better life for their families". Well boo-hoo. So are a lot of people who are here LEGALLY. The way you people think is just beyond me. Mandy did nothing except agree with something that is the law, make a comment, which was her opinion, and rather than deal with our local mess, you pick on her. Wow, what a amazing human being you are. We must have stronger enforcement of our borders and immigration laws, or we will never, EVER have enough money or services to go around - especially here on the left coast. Those of us that are working just as hard, and I believe in many, many cases, harder, than those that are here illegally, must not only support our own families, but pay more and more taxes so that we can support people who don't even legally belong here. Again I ask, where is the logic? Get a grip, people. We cannot be the bread basket for the world. We cannot have open borders. We MUST take care of this country before it becomes an unrecognizable place. We MUST follow the laws that we have set in place. We CANNOT continue on the road we are on or we will regret what we turn into, I can guarantee it. Close the borders and let the immigrants who want to come into this country legally go through the legal process to do so. We have, and will continue, to welcome them with open arms.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm


"... our very weak president."

Mandy gave an example of how Obama defied China - did that sound weak to you?

Posted by Member, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm


Wow. At it again. Ignore my main issue. Oh, goody. He did one thing that appears "strong". I'm not giving out points - I'm not getting into a pissing contest with you. Look at his track record. End of story. Done.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm


Here's his track record...

"Bay Area labor unions demanded Wednesday that the Obama administration stop its increased practice of auditing business payrolls to check for illegal immigrant workers ...
ICE drastically increased its use of I-9 audits in 2009 when 1,444 businesses were audited, almost tripling the number audited in 2008, The New York Times reported this week. In 2010, the government audited 2,196 businesses."

Posted by Becky Sanders, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

I have to get back in the act. Scofflaws should totally be nailed, yeah right! I love the selective application of our laws to some groups and not to others. I disapprove of scapegoating on illegalles. They are not responsible for the housing crisis, the poor economy, the unemployment rate, the out of controll national debt and the debt ceiling debate -- but they make an excellent scapegoat for the teabaggers and the richest 2% oligarchy in this country that wants to manipulate teabaggers into voting against their own economic best interest! By pointing to the lowest of the low rather than at the white collar criminals at Goldman Sachs et al the dialog can be sidelined away from the fact that the richest 2% of this country are looting our government by diverting public money to their private enrichment. And not one person at Goldman Sachs has gone or will go to jail. Nary a one! But by all means let's cart off a bunch of maginalized people and talk really loud so that this drowns out the real corruption and perversion of the American dream by America's super rich.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

You are talking about apples and oranges. It would be great to connect it all so simply. I really doubt the richest 2% gives a hoot about people or even illegals. Hec, they are probably all for illegals. As far as the housing crisis and Goldman Sachs, that's more about middle and lower class citizens not thinking about what they were signing for and the banks taking advantage of them. It's about as reckless as thinking that having millions of illegal in this country is good for putting down debt, upholding respect for the law, and bringing down unemployment.

Posted by member, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

@Becky Sanders

While your argument could be a really good one (if it wasn't so angry, I stopped being interested at oligarchy), that doesn't happen to be what this article was about. This article - just to remind you, since I'm not sure that you read it or any of the many others written on the subject - is about the Day Worker Center and the fact that the majority of the workers are here ILLEGALLY. I mentioned in my other post that I am all for LEGAL immigration, but we cannot afford, in our town or yes, in our country, to continue to be the world's breadbasket. Feel free to argue about the richest 2% when any of the Voice's writers decide to write that type of article. I am concerned with the drain on our state's resources, which would experience an incredible surge of income if we weren't paying for all of the illegal immigrant's health care, education, housing, food stamps, etc. If you are as intelligent as you are trying to come off as you are, then you know the dollar amounts that would be saved just in our own state from not providing the illegal population with those services would be an amazing amount of money. Now take that nation-wide, especially in the other states that are as bad off as we are, and you would see many more budgets closer to being balanced. You seem to have some real anger towards the "richest 2%", and yes, I'll agree that there are a lot of people who should be in jail. But there are also a lot of "rich" people who go out of their way to help others with their money and earned it the good, old fashioned way - with hard work and honesty. You sound like someone who doesn't have much of your own money and have decided that anyone who does is evil. I don't happen to hold your opinion, so once again I'll say it. I don't want to get into a pissing contest with you either. My arguments were about the law. I have many friends and know many wonderful people who are here legally, and I have no beef with them. They are hard working and just trying to provide for their families. And before you say it, I realize that the next comment out of yours and many other bleeding heart's mouths will be, "but that is all that these people are trying to do". Yes, but we have already discussed the difference, so let's just forget that one for a while. Many of us are working insane hours and for many, many years to try and educate our kids and maybe buy a small home. Most of our money is taken from us in taxes so that we can support people who are here without the benefit of documents. Many are hard-working families just trying to make it, like us. Others, and there are many, are here for other reasons that I don't want to get into. We are paying for them to eat, visit the emergency room when they're shot, etc. Who pays for them? We do. There are so many fights that we can choose to fight or argue about, but this particular article started this thread of opinions. When the Voice writes an article about one of the items that seemed to anger you so much, then you can start a thread about how much you hate the rich, or whatever your "angry rant of the day" is. So nice of you to jump in and attack with diversions. Just shows that you're an angry person who just has to vent somehow, even if it doesn't make much sense at the moment. Best for you to head to the bank and remove any money you have - pay cash for everything. Be proactive. Heaven knows, having your money in a bank is only helping the super rich get richer, right?

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm

@Becky Sanders -

I haven't blamed illegal immigrants for anything other than breaking the law. And I'm not suggesting they be carted off, I'm suggesting that they quit breaking the law.

Posted by Mr. Ironic, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I just realized last night why im moving out of MV. When I come home to my 1000$/month apt I dont feel like im in America anymore. I honestly feel like im in some 3rd world South America country. If I wanted to live there I would have moved there. I was born and raised in the USA. I pay taxes never and Im tired of this BS. 13 people to 1bedroom apt with 4 cars and only one parking space thats BS. I refuse to pay 1000$/month to live in a 3rd world city.

Posted by Jesse, a resident of Castro City
on Jul 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

And don't forget the cock roach infestations that result from 13 people sharing an apartment "piso" (i.e., floor space). I once helped a friend try to clean one of those apartments and it was absolutely disgusting. The city should enforce some sort of code from preventing so many people sharing one apartment, but instead the create the Day Worker Center which just attracts more.

Posted by Mr. Ironic, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I mean I pay my taxes and ive had a job since I was 16. Im not racist and I can care less what people do except when it messes with my quality of living. When i can barely enter and exit my carport due to 10 extra cars parked in the lot and only half actually work thats BS. Parties till 1-2am during the week when im tryna get my son to sleep thats BS. Kids that stay up all night playing and making hella noise through the night that BS. Apt rules say no think they care? Hell naw I have to hear little yapping dogs 70% of the time B-f'n-S. I try to talk to them and they look at me and say no habla. I have to move or else i will go ballistic. I thought this was America.

Posted by R Drozek, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

These continual efforts by the local Democratic Party that promotes illegal aliens and not the safety of the citizens of Santa Clara County. You look around on all of the City and Construction Projects that have been rushed to completion to gain Obama Votes, and there are the illegals with their hardhats to disguise themselves-to fit in on the work sites. This is the UNION and the Mountain View Permitting Division which is behind this. Remember, all of these "servants" in MTNVIEW are union members who will promote union contractors. I saw it recently in a job walk in which the bid went to the company that was aligned with the City Council and Permitting/Construction Division.

It is clear that Democrat City Council and the County Government will give virtual citizenship to law breakers who violate our sovereignty and in the hopes that these illegal aliens are going to become legitimate and thus gain their votes to continue to allow this one party system in California to destroy our families, our children, and our economic welfare.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and the other IT firms in MTNVIEW replace American engineers with H1 Indian and Chinese hardware software engineers. Self-employed high school graduates who run their small construction companies are being thrown out of work because of the illegals that can be found on the big housing and commercial construction sites. Look around and you will see what I mean. This City Council does not serve the residents of Mountain View but is nothing more than a spoke of the Democrat Party agenda to promote non-American citizens.

Mountain View is a clear example of A DEFACTO SANCTUARY CITY. Who is behind this end game in Mountain View CA?

St. Joseph Catholic Church is the key political action wheel that promotes illegal Mexican and South Americans moving into Mountain View. The church even makes speeches from the pulpit during Sunday masses about politics which violates their nonprofit tax status. The Priest is more for the illegals than the Citizens in Mountain View who are Catholics. This effort by the Catholic Church and the Democrat Party must stop!

Further, the overly funded Unionize Police Department should be audited.It is time to have the MVPD arrest illegals who have no driver licenses or who become drunk behind the wheeel. It is time for the Chief of Police and his Captains, Lieutenants,and sergeants' to forget about their Political Correctness policy. I have seen this in a recent car stop on shoreline as I have a high power camera and voice equipment.

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