Civil Rights Suit Filed on Behalf of Day Laborers

Two Agoura Hills ordinances that bar day laborers from seeking work have created a "racially inflamed" atmosphere in which sheriff's deputies abuse and discriminate against immigrant laborers and others of Latino appearance, a coalition of civil rights groups alleged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The suit against Agoura Hills, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant chain was filed in Van Nuys Superior Court on behalf of 11 day laborers who congregate at a west San Fernando Valley suburban shopping center.

The coalition--which includes the American Civil Liberties Union and several immigrant rights groups--alleges that city ordinances passed this year against solicitation of work in the street and commercial areas violate rights of free speech and assembly guaranteed in the state Constitution.

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