Summary of Responses to Disorder at Day Laborer Sites

The table below summarizes the responses to problems associated with day laborers, the mechanism by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

Managing Day Labor
Response No.ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best If…Considerations


Improving the organization at current day laborer sites

Promotes orderly and lawful behavior and establishes site controls

the organization is efficient and addresses laborers' and employers' needs

Assumes current sites are acceptable to area residents and merchants and land use is permitted


Imposing time restrictions on day labor activities

Reduces the opportunities for problem behavior to occur

time restrictions are enforced and the sites are managed during designated times

Can be temporary until a day labor center is built, or it can be permanent; requires routine police presence


Establishing new day labor centers

Organizes and controls the location and process of day laboring

the design is efficient and other measures are taken to ensure it is used

Expensive; time-consuming; requires ongoing oversight and management


Using volunteers to manage day labor centers

Ensures day labor centers run and are maintained properly, and provides capable guardianship

volunteers are sampled from a variety of groups to increase the "ownership" of the centers

Reduces costs; will need continued governance by someone or some entity


Soliciting help from area merchants

Increases ownership of the problem

merchants have a vested interest in addressing the problem

Amount of help will vary across merchants


Obtaining grants and other financial support

Eliminates the need for tax dollars

a detailed and compelling case is provided for the needed funds

Use examples of successful day labor sites; takes time and effort to prepare proposals


Creating and enforcing rules and procedures at day labor centers and sites

Formalizes the day- laboring process, increases efficiency, and sets boundaries

rules are clearly defined and posted, and laborers and employers participate in formulating them

Requires day laborer and employer input; will require establishing sanctions for violations


Forming an advisory committee

Ensures center is maintained and increases ownership

advisors have an interest in and can contribute to the center's success

Select advisors from various groups or organizations; consider incentives for participation


Establishing supplemental programs at day labor centers

Encourages law-abiding behavior and provides access to legitimate services

the provided services meet the laborers' needs

Increased costs; requires additional space at the centers


Closing streets and alleys, diverting traffic, or regulating parking

Decreases traffic congestion and increases employers' ability to find and negotiate with laborers

the affected community supports the changes

Potentially costly; can harm legitimate commercial traffic; may lock the problem in rather than forcing it out

##ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Enforcing Laws


Enforcing laws prohibiting disorder (e.g. trespassing, loitering, public intoxication, littering, and vandalism)

Temporarily establishes order at day labor sites

enforcement is combined with other effective responses

Has only a short-term impact; may displace day labor practice to other areas


Enforcing laws prohibiting assault and robbery

Temporarily establishes order at day labor sites, and establishes police control of the area(s)

a prosecution will result in meaningful sanctions

Will be difficult to obtain witnesses for a prosecutable case


Establishing a highly visible police presence

Discourages unruly or unlawful behavior among day laborers

it is supplemented with environmental changes or site relocation

Labor- intensive; may create the perception that the area is unsafe


Creating and enforcing ordinances prohibiting the solicitation of work in non-designated places

Displaces day labor activities to designated sites

enforcement is consistent, and the designated sites are useful and efficient for laborers and employers

Requires adoption by the city council; takes time and may not pass due to legal concerns


Enhancing fines/penalties for soliciting work or hiring workers in non-specified zones

Increases the incentive to use designated day labor sites

the fines are high enough and collection is certain

New informal day labor sites may emerge in other places convenient for laborers and employers


Initiating public- awareness campaigns

Informs the community of new rules for day-laboring activities and encourages compliance

police follow through with enforcing the rules and changes are made at designated day labor sites

Proper dissemination will reduce contempt for police when they enforce the law; widespread community awareness may encourage anti-immigrant views

##ResponseHow It WorksWorks Best IfConsiderations
Responses With Limited Effectiveness


Conducting sweeps and enforcing immigration laws

Temporarily removes illegal-immigrant laborers from the area

Produces distrust of the police by illegal immigrants throughout the community


Prohibiting day laboring outright

Seeks to eliminate day labor sites and activities citywide

Ineffective as a long-term solution; could displace day laboring