Posted: Jul 2, 2010 5:17 AM by Chris Welty
Updated: Jul 2, 2010 5:17 AM
GRAND ISLE La. (AP) - The influx of oil-spill workers to this
barrier island has Police Chief Euris DuBois uneasy.
DuBois said Thursday that he received 450 names and birth dates
of clean-up workers and has begun running background checks on
"We have people living in these houses, in the motels and the
camp grounds that we know nothing about," said Dubois. "We want
to know a little about everyone coming here to work on the oil."
Grand Isle's 1,500 full-time residents, he said, will rest easy
if they know none of the workers is wanted for a serious crime. The
population has swelled with the influx of workers, military, BP and
DuBois says there have been no problems since the workers began
arriving. He just wants to make sure it stays that way.
But Marjorie Esman, director of the Louisiana ACLU, said the
checks are deeply disturbing. The sheriff has no legal right to run
background checks on workers, she said.
"Does he run checks on the people who come to Grand Isle for a
fishing rodeo or for a vacation?" Esman said. "Those are
strangers on the island and I bet he isn't worried about them."
DuBois has no more right to run background checks on the people
working on the beach than on those sunbathing there, she said.
"Both groups have the constitutional right to use a public
beach without the expectation of having the police check them
out," she said.