Judicial Watch Launches Investigation Into Seattle Day Labor Facilities, Warns Officials

Seattle, King County & Washington State Apparently Subsidize Criminal Activity With Citizen Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 18, 2007) - Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has launched an investigation into "day labor" facilities in Seattle, Washington. Judicial Watch also sent warning letters to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle City Council on September 13 concerning the legality of its taxpayer-funded day labor site for illegal aliens.

"For the City to use taxpayer resources in this manner is akin to a city operating its own 'red light' district or illegal drug market to enable persons who participate in such activities to have a safe, orderly, well-regulated environment in which to engage in their illicit transactions," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in his letter to Mayor Nickels. "Kindly confirm that you will cease immediately expending citizen taxpayer dollars and resources for day labor sites and non-profit organizations that promote criminal activity in violation of federal immigration law."

Judicial Watch's investigation is in response to requests from Seattle citizen taxpayers and property owners outraged that allegedly public funds are used to subsidize criminal violations of federal immigration laws at day labor facilities operated by "CASA Latina," a self-described "group of community activists... dedicated to empowering Latino immigrants."

CASA Latina represents in presentation materials that 24% of its $731,117 operating budget are taxpayer funds. On February 12, 2007, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed City Ordinance 122339 expending approximately $250,000 for the purchase of property in a residential area that CASA Latina and politicians plan to use as a day labor headquarters for Seattle. According to Judicial Watch, additional research by Judicial Watch staff indicates that over $1 million dollars in taxpayer money from King County and the State of Washington have been committed to subsidizing illegal aliens in Seattle.

Federal immigration laws make it illegal to "encourage or induce an alien come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law." 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv). Federal immigration laws also make it unlawful to aid or abet the commission of such acts. 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(v)(II).

Likewise CASA Latina's activities may run afoul of federal laws concerning recruiting or hiring of an alien if it is known that the alien is not authorized to work in the United States. 8 U.S.C. §1324a(a)(1)(A). In addition, it is unlawful to hire any individual for employment in the United States without complying with federal employment eligibility verification requirements. 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B)(I). Studies show the vast majority of day laborers are unable to legally work in the United States. CASA Latina does not screen applications for employment eligibility.

"It is illegal and irresponsible for politicians to use taxpayer funds to facilitate the hiring of illegal aliens," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Politicians in Seattle are using tax dollars to undermine the rule of law and worsen the illegal immigration crisis."

Judicial Watch's Seattle investigation is part of a nationwide campaign to help enforce our nation's immigration laws. (See www.judicialwatch.org for more information.)

Contact Information: Contact: Judicial Watch 202-646-5188