Shop owners: Border Patrol spooking customers By Brittany Levine The Orange County RegisterA Border Patrol spokesman says he doesn't care if their customers are frightened away, if they're illegal.
Feb. 12, 2010
The Mayor's Walk is a monthly event organized by the San Juan Chamber of Commerce in which the mayor visits local businesses to hear their concerns. Wednesday afternoon's walk was the first for Uso, who became mayor in December.
"Last year I started hearing my customers say, 'Don't go to Alipaz Plaza, that's where (the Border Patrol agents) are hanging out,'" said Isabel Rizo Patron, owner of Isabel's Beauty Salon.
Rizo Patron said she has a diverse group of customers but that many of her clients are Hispanic and don't like to be in an area frequented by the Border Patrol.[More]
The Border Patrol's [Ralph]Desio said the fear of customers who are staying away from the plaza "perhaps has reason."You understantd that they aren't complaining about racial profiling, or harassment of innocent Mexican-Americans who just look like the twenty million illegals, they're complaining about enforcement at all.
"Perhaps their customers are here illegally," he said.
He added it is unlikely the agency will change its methods because of such concerns. If there were allegations of harassment or misconduct, the agency would take a closer look, he said.
"Patrolling a shopping center once or twice a month doesn't seem egregious," Desio said.