Uploaded: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 1:22 PM

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National group targets local Day Worker Center

Escuela Avenue residents have called in a legal group from Washington, D.C. to "protect" the neighborhood from a proposed Day Worker Center, and a representative from the group is meeting with neighbors this week.

In an e-mail, Escuela resident Brad Keller said the group [www.judicialwatch.org Judicial Watch] is concerned "that the DWC facility may, in violation of U.S. federal immigration law, support undocumented workers and employers of undocumented workers, and that local cities may be using citizens' tax dollars to support these activities."

Judicial Watch has already sued other California cities for supporting day worker centers and lost, according to Maria Marroquin, director of the [www.dayworkercentermv.org Day Worker Center of Mountain View].

Kellar says Judicial Watch has been following Mountain View and its Day Worker Center over the last year, and plans to meet with neighbors as part of a campaign to bust "sanctuary cities" which actively protect illegal immigrants from deportation.

The director of research for Judicial Watch, Chris Farrell, will be meeting with locals to discuss the Day Worker Center and other Judicial Watch concerns on Wednesday, April 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Residence Inn Marriott, 4460 El Camino Real, Los Altos. Residents can RSVP by e-mailing jwevents@judicialwatch.org.

Despite rumors to the contrary, city officials have never declared Mountain View a "sanctuary city," and police are not prohibited from contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement if necessary. Police Chief Scott Vermeer told the ==I Voice== in June 2007 that local police have "no role enforcing federal immigration laws ... unless the safety of the general public is at stake."

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View already owns the property at 113 Escuela Ave., and a conditional use permit was approved by the city's zoning administrator. But neighbors have appealed that decision to the City Council, which is scheduled to decide on whether to allow the center to use the property May 12.

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