Monday, February 16, 2009

New Threat to the Undocumented: Muggings

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina came an inundation of day laborers to rebuild New Orleans. Many, if not most, were undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Welcomed at first and still essential for building the city, they now have to dodge payday muggers as well as ICE. Since the day laborers are often paid in cash and carrying it in their pockets at the end of the day, they make for easy targets in the empty parking lots of Home Depot or Lowe's in the early evening. While the NOPD has a campaign to inform day laborers of the dangers and how to avoid them, the immigrants complain that it does not respond quickly or responds not at all. Often when the police do show up, they'll give the worker a lecture on being in the country illegally.(See New York Times article)

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