First of all I am appalled that the city of Herndon solution to illegal immigrants vying for day laborer jobs is to spend taxpayer dollars on a center to assist their illegal behavior. But what is more disturbing in this debate is the rhetoric thrown at the anti illegal immigrant people.
Philip Jones, 44, of Herndon, a single father of two teenagers, views the day laborers as an additional threat to Herndon's once close-knit community. Every day, he said, he drives by the 7-Eleven and sees them catcall at women, drink and behave in unruly ways. His children are afraid to go into the store.
Now he fears that could be the scene near his home. The proposed day laborer site is in Jones's suburban neighborhood of split-level homes where Herndon borders Loudoun County. His neighbors dislike the idea so much, he says, that some may sell and leave town.
Complicating the issue for Jones was when people accused him of racism at last week's hearing.
"To be called a racist is unnerving. To have someone tell me to 'shove it' in a public forum, that's unnerving," Jones said after he finished speaking. "These day laborers are scary. They are unkempt. They swarm on top of you. They grab your car competing for work. . . . Why is it bigotry if I don't want that in my neighborhood?"
Some longtime residents supporting the day laborers are angry that immigrants don't feel more welcome in Herndon. They say the town should take pride in the thriving ethnic businesses downtown and the town's new diversity.
"I'm ashamed to see what's happening here," said Abby Reyes, 31, who grew up in Herndon. "It's shocking to see what xenophobia and insecurity can bring."
The ability to ignore the issue and conflate it to racism or xenophobia shows the level of dishonesty or lack of reason from those using this rhetoric. These are law breakers, plain and simple. Racism has nothing to do with it unless there's a new definition now for being anti criminal.
Washington Post: Herndon Confronts Immigrant Tensions