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The Minutemen aren’t scheduled to patrol the streets of Houston for another month, but already they’re having an effect among day laborers.
A day labor organizational meeting scheduled for Saturday had to be closed to the media because the workers are afraid, organizers said.
The leaders also say they have noticed that fewer contractors are picking up workers from the corners where day laborers, most of them undocumented immigrants, gather, which they also attribute to fear of the Minutemen.
“They’re very scared,” Maria Jimenez, a leader of the Coalition Against Intolerance and for Respect, said of the workers.
In addition to a drop in contractors, Jimenez said she has noted that some day laborers have abandoned their usual corners, which she thinks is driven by fear. She and other organizers concede that it might encourage the Minutemen even more to hear they’re already having an effect.
“This is already starting,” Juan Alvarez, another leader of the coalition, said of the fear. “We can’t reverse it.”
(Posted on August 30, 2005)