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Waiting Latino Workers Make Laguna 'Nervous'

July 03, 1988

Who are you talking about when you wrote of the leering, "hard-faced unemployed men" in your article on the Latino laborers in north Laguna Beach ("Waiting Workers Making Laguna Nervous," June 22)?

Perhaps your reporter has mistaken a justified look of concern for something evil. At least these men are out looking for work, rather than looking in an open window to commit a crime. These men have made the choice to do an honest day's work.

Maybe this "look" comes from a hard road traveled and a hard life lived. Jose A. Diaz (shown in the article) left his hometown of Cuernavaca, Mexico, to come to the United States and stand on a street corner, hoping for a day job. It's a safe bet that he didn't leave his homeland because it was nirvana, that he is here to make a better life for himself.

He and the other men are not looking for a handout, they are not dead weight living off the welfare rolls. They should be allowed to live and work in peace, not shoved out of sight into a state park parking lot because their mere presence "upsets" some of the local residents.

Treat them as you would expect to be treated yourself and allow them their dignity.

CHRISTOPHER E. DURAN

San Juan Capistrano

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