Centreville Day Laborers Site Almost Ready | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Centreville Day Laborers Site Almost Ready

Play associated audio
 
Some merchants and residents in Centreville have raised concerns about immigrant workers gathering at this intersection looking for a day's work. County supervisor Michael Frey and other proponents say a labor resource center will help this problem.
Jonathan Wilson
  Some merchants and residents in Centreville have raised concerns about immigrant workers gathering at this intersection looking for a day's work. County supervisor Michael Frey and other proponents say a labor resource center will help this problem.

It's been more than a year since Fairfax County Supervisor Michael Frey called a public meeting to discuss the proposal to open a hiring site for immigrant day laborers in Centreville.

"The atmosphere was obviously pretty heated," he says. 

But Frey, a Republican, says most of the objections came from residents who had a problem with federal immigration policy. "The people that were objecting were objecting because they believed all the day laborers were here illegally, and wanted that problem solved," Frey says. 

Frey understands those concerns. But he points out the county has little power to influence federal immigration enforcement, and the center is a way to keep immigrant workers who are looking for work from gathering on street corners and impeding commerce and traffic.

It will also keeping the workers themselves safer, Frey adds.

Alice Foltz is the temporary director of the Centreville Immigration Forum, a coalition of churchgoers that came up with the idea for the site and will run it when it opens. 

She says discussion of the immigration issue has calmed in Centreville, and more people have gotten used to the idea that the Centreville Labor Resource Center, as it will be called, isn't trying to solve the country's immigration problems.

"The fact of the matter is, we have a community of folks here that are here, that have needs, and it's better for the entire community if we can provide for them so that they have better health and safety," she says.

Foltz says her group has raised $90,000 over the past twelve months, and only needs about $30,000 more to ensure the center can meet its budget needs for the first year.

The group has also begun hiring full-time staff and training about 40 volunteers.

She's keeping the exact address of the center a secret for now, until the owner of the shopping mall where it will be located can tell his other tenants, but she says the Centreville Labor Resource Center should open sometime in the early fall.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns To Avoid Being 'Distraction'

There's an investigation into a payoff scheme before the 2012 presidential caucuses in Iowa. Jesse Benton says suggestions of his involvement are inaccurate and politically motivated.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

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