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City of Vista Settles ACLU Day Labor Ordinance Suit

The ACLU and the City of Vista have settled a lawsuit regarding Vista's day labor ordinance -- the controversial ordinance that took effect last July. It requires people to register with the city before they hire day laborers. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

The ACLU suit said the ordinance infringed on employer's constitutional rights by giving the city too much latitude to delay or deny hiring permits. The suit also said the ordinance was motivated by prejudice since most day laborers are Latino.

ACLU Attorney David Blair Loy says the city has since crafted regulations for processing permits. He says whether the ordinance is discriminatory is debatable. However, he's decided to forgo the question and work with the ordinance instead.

Blair Loy: And say let's see if we can change the enforcement policy in such a way to promote the goal of protecting day laborers by encouraging laborers to come in the market, to make it easier for employers to participate in the market for hiring day laborers in the City of Vista.

Under the settlement, people who employ day laborers for the first time can now register in the field instead of at city offices.

Blair-Loy says that protects employers who may be unaware of the ordinance from being penalized. In the last year, the city has issued 54 tickets to people hiring day laborers without a permit for the first time.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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