- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Herndon Town Council and town attorney met in closed session last night to discuss legal options after a Fairfax County Circuit Court decision last week declaring the town’s anti-solicitation ordinance unconstitutional.

The council also was scheduled to discuss a resolution authorizing the town to temporarily operate a day-laborer site at an estimated cost of $11,000 per month after the contract of the center’s current operator, Reston Interfaith, expires Sept. 14.

It was not clear whether last week’s ruling would alter the town’s plans to temporarily run the Herndon Official Workers Center while town officials seek a new operator that will check workers’ legal status.

Town spokeswoman Anne Curtis said yesterday afternoon that the resolution up for discussion had not changed because of the ruling. The details of the council’s closed meeting with town attorney Richard B. Kaufman would not be disclosed to the public, she said.

Reston Interfaith and its program that runs the center, Project Hope and Harmony, do not verify employment eligibility of the laborers.

Herndon’s anti-solicitation ordinance requires the presence of an official day-laborer site in order to remain in effect, but Circuit Judge Leslie M. Alden last week ruled that the center as it currently exists is inadequate because it is described as a temporary site in the town ordinance.

Some anti-illegal-alien organizations are questioning whether it is necessary for the town to keep operating a day-laborer center since the anti-solicitation ordinance was struck down.

“There never should have been a day-laborer center, and there never should have been an anti-solicitation ordinance,” said George Taplin, president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of Virginia.

The council is expected to vote on the resolution at its meeting Tuesday. The council last month approved a broad resolution to keep the day-laborer center in operation — either by an extension of Reston Interfaith’s contract or by the town temporarily assuming control.

That vote came after more than two hours of resident comment over two nights.

Several other Virginia jurisdictions recently passed or are considering immigration-related resolutions, including Prince William, Loudoun, Culpeper, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Chesterfield, James City and Page counties and the city of Manassas.

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