Matthews said she has a friend who is an attorney in Berkeley, and when protests erupted over a similar immigration crackdown in that city, the immigration enforcement action was halted.
"The attorney in Berkeley said it was useful to have someone bearing witness and handing out materials about people's rights," Matthews said. "This is an informal action by our committee members, reacting to a perceived emergency."
Disbelief at checkpoints
City Manager Ken Frank was incredulous at the idea that Border Patrol would set up checkpoints. "I can't believe they would do checkpoints," he said. "That's unheard of."
Frank said he is aware that Border Patrol has been working in Laguna Beach and stopping people to determine if they are in the country legally, but the federal agency does not notify the city of their activities.
"They don't tell us when they are here, and we don't work with them," Frank said. "They are in other cities, too."
Frank said he would "discount" rumors of checkpoints but could not refute them, after talking to federal authorities.
A San Diego Sector Border Patrol spokesman said that an increase in human smuggling incidents in Laguna Beach has led the agency to extend its patrol activities north, into Laguna Beach.
Day Labor site sees downturn
So far, the Day Labor hiring site on Laguna Canyon Road has apparently not been targeted by immigration authorities. But the number of job-seekers has dropped significantly at the site as stories accumulate of Border Patrol or ICE agents stopping people with a Hispanic appearance in the city, according to David Peck, of the Cross-Cultural Council, which operates the facility on Laguna Canyon Road.