In an attempt to punish day laborers and those who employ them, the town of Oyster Bay had implemented a controversial law that immigrant rights activists say makes it illegal to "Wave While Latino." The new legislation imposes fines of $250 on people who solicit employment, which "includes, but is not limited to, shouting at cars, waving arms or signs, making hand signals, approaching motor vehicles or standing in public roads facing in the direction of oncoming traffic," according to the Times.
The ordinance passed the Town Board unanimously in September after outcry over a group of many as 80 laborers who gathered at the intersection of Forest Avenue and 12th Street and purportedly caused problems including public urination on private lawns. "I'm not anti-immigrant, but their need to be employed doesn’t mean they can cause chaos on our streets," said town supervisor John Venditto, who is the son of an immigrant. "I'm not looking to put anybody in jail … Maybe I’m living in a fool’s paradise, but I believe the day will come when people say, 'Son of a gun, he was right about this.'"
Despite protests and threats of legal action from the New York Civil Liberties Union, the town has stood by the new rule. But Latino residents of Oyster Bay — who constitute just 6 percent of the town's population — say it makes life more difficult. “Everybody wants to be a U.S. citizen,” said illegal immigrant Abel Villalobos, 48, who came to the United States after fleeing from political turmoil in El Salvadore. “But now we are afraid to go to the corner to find work.”