: News

Plans For Day Laborer Center Move Forward Despite Opposition

Play associated audio
Alice Foltz helped create the Centreville Immigration Forum -- now she finds herself in the middle of a political firestorm.
Alice Foltz helped create the Centreville Immigration Forum -- now she finds herself in the middle of a political firestorm.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Fairfax County, Virginia, a non-profit group in Centreville is moving forward with plans to open a center for day laborers adjacent to a local mall.

The group is doing so despite fierce community opposition.

It's not hard to find stark difference in opinion when it comes to the prospect of a center for day laborers in Centreville.

Bill Mallon has lived here for 40 years. He says building a place where many illegal immigrants could gather and look for work, just isn't right.

"I don't think it should be built, because quite honestly, if I was caught helping illegals in the United States, and they were enforcing the law, I would be arrested," says Mallon.

Sherry Watkins says she thinks the center would be a good thing. She says it would keep day laborers from being scattered across random street corners, and perhaps give them a place where they could learn English.

"If it works out the way she says, and it makes less people stand out here on the curb, which seems to bother people, than it's going to be wonderful," says Watkins.

The "she" Watkins is talking about is Alice Foltz. Foltz is with the non-profit, Centreville Immigration Forum, which will run the center if it gets built.

She says residents have the right to feel angry about undocumented workers. Foltz witnessed some of that anger at a town hall meeting regarding the proposed center last month.

But she says her group is simply trying to make Centreville a safer and better place for everybody, not solve the issue of how to enforce federal laws.

"We can't tackle all of that right here on this corner in Centreville," says Foltz. "We're only providing a local solution to a local problem."

Foltz says the Center is set to be built behind the Centerville Shopping Center and could be ready in the fall. It would have capacity for 40 or 50 workers each day.

Fairfax County staff say the Centreville Immigration Forum, and the developer behind the day laborer center, aren't breaking any state or county laws by building it.

NPR

When Caravaggio Plays Quevedo In Tennis, The Court Becomes A Sonnet

"It's a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing," says Álvaro Enrigue. His book, Sudden Death, pits the Italian painter against the Spanish poet.
WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

NPR

Password Security Is So Bad, President Obama Weighs In

In unveiling a sweeping plan to fund and revamp cybersecurity, the president asks citizens to consider using extra layers of security besides the password.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.