Calexico mulling ‘deployment center' for migrants

May 09, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Mayor Pro Tem Frank Montoya plans to meet with former Mayor Arturo Rioseco this week to discuss plans for a rest stop/bus depot for farm workers a short walking distance of the border — possibly near Guadalajara's Restaurant on Third Street.

Rioseco told the City Council on Tuesday that there is millions of dollars in state grants available for construction of centers for migrant workers.

He said there are comparable "centers for deployment of workers" in Salinas and the San Jose area that were funded with such grants.


Montoya said Rioseco has connections in Sacramento that might help get some money funneled Calexico's way.

"This is all about creating a place where they will meet and from that point, they go and get on the buses," Montoya said.

Such a center could help cut down complaints from downtown merchants regarding campesinos and the city's homeless loitering about waiting for work.

Montoya said a migrant center would mean the workers wouldn't have to gather in front of businesses such as the Imperial Avenue Jack-in-the-Box and local supermarkets.

The farm worker center could be built on land near Guadalajara's Restaurant on Third Street, he said.

"That's a good area there, as good a place as any," Montoya said.

Rioseco said the potential location of the center is "still open."

Asked if the city's farm labor contractors would be brought into the planning of any farm worker center, Montoya said, "Certainly. They are going to play a big role in this."

In addition to the benefits the city accrues by having a place for migrant workers to congregate, Montoya said such a facility would provide a service to the workers.

"This is all about the grants that are available to get something built so that farm workers have some place to go to the bathroom in that area," Montoya said.

Some farm workers need such a facility because they have been using the city's alleys for "their own personal use," Montoya said.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles