WASHINGTON—Six residents of Herndon, Va., sued the town Thursday over its plans to provide funding for an employment site to serve day laborers, many of whom are believed to be illegal immigrants.
The lawsuit, filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, alleges that the Town Council violated federal, state and local law last month when it voted 5-2 to establish a regulated site for day laborers on public land with a $170,000 county grant.
The residents are represented by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, which said it believes its lawsuit is the first of its kind to challenge the legality of taxpayer-funded day-labor sites. These sites have sprouted up in Maryland, northern Virginia and other places with large immigrant populations.
The debate in Herndon captured national attention as town officials sought a solution for loitering day laborers who congregate in a convenience store parking lot, waiting for contractors or others to come by offering part-time work or odd jobs.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that no matter the problem, facilitating the hiring of illegal immigrants is not an acceptable solution.
“The Town Council understands it would be helping illegal aliens” by establishing a day laborer site, Fitton said Thursday during a news conference at the group’s Washington headquarters. “It has essentially admitted it in some proceedings.”