From Marietta to Lawrenceville, many metro Atlanta officials have, in fits and starts, tried to rein in day laborers in response to howls from homeowners and businesses. Most recently, Cobb County last month backed off plans to outlaw picking up day laborers or seeking temporary employment on county streets, sidewalks and parking lots.
But for eight years, Marietta has been quietly enforcing the same law, targeting the people who hire day laborers. City police have handed out tickets to builders, landscapers and even homeowners seeking help with lawn work. Their reasons for hiring the day laborers vary, but their actions continue to fuel debate on the issue of illegal immigration. That’s because, correctly or not, many presume the majority of day laborers are illegal immigrants.
Chalfant is among about 80 people whom Marietta police have ticketed in the past four years, records show. Some of those who received citations said they were unaware of the law.
But Chalfant should have known better