Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Texas City Decides to Do the Job the Feds Won't Do

Yesterday in Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas, passed some restrictive anti-illegal immigration measures in response to the ongoing crisis here in Texas.

City Council members unanimously approved fines for landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, making English the city's official language and allowing local authorities to screen suspects in police custody to check their immigration status.

The council made the series of 6-0 votes without discussion Monday night and took comment from the public afterward. A proposal to penalize businesses that employ undocumented workers was not voted on during the meeting.

I bet that they will pass that last proposal as well. Texans are just plain sick of the Federal government failing to enforce the immigration laws and cities like Dallas acting as sanctuaries for illegals. Dozens of U.S. citizens, including police officers, have been murdered by criminals that were here illegally and should have been deported before they could commit their crimes. Note that not all of the perpetrators of these crimes are from Mexico--some are from countries like Jamaica--so passing laws to crack down on illegal immigration is not meant to discriminate against Mexicans. It's meant to keep criminals which are here illegally out of the country. But of course, all the Latino civil rights group have to make it about race.

Attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a civil rights advocacy group, told council members before the vote that the proposals could violate federal housing laws preventing discrimination and the First Amendment.

Since 1970, Farmers Branch has changed from a small, predominantly white bedroom community with a declining population to a city of almost 28,000 people, about 37 percent of them Hispanic, according to the census. It also is home to more than 80 corporate headquarters and more than 2,600 small and mid-size firms, many of them minority-owned.

"They're afraid that Farmers Branch is becoming Hispanic," said Christopher McGuire, a resident of the city and spokesman for a group called United Farmers Branch. "It's going to happen, and that's not a bad thing."

Look, it's Texas for crying out loud! There will always be a Mexican/Latino presence here, and Texas is richer for it. My husband's best friends are of Mexican descent and salsa is a staple in our kitchen. We honeymooned in Mexico (and went back there this year) and we loved everything about that country (except the police and the water). Most people I know feel the same way I do. We welcome LEGAL immigrants from wherever they come from. I'm sure most immigrants (even illegal ones) are decent and hardworking people, but how are we to keep the criminals out and let deserving immigrants become citizens if we can't regulate our borders?

Farmers Branch was the first Texas City to pass these kinds of laws, but I can guarantee that more cities will follow suit if the INS doesn't step up and DO ITS JOB.

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