The Dallas suburb voters of Farmers Branch have voted by a super majority to crack down on illegal immigrants renting in their town. Based on the AP News article, exceptions are made for “minors, seniors and some families with a mix of legal residents and illegal immigrants.”
And of course there is opposition to this ban.
The city was already facing four lawsuits brought by civil rights groups, residents, property owners and businesses who contend the ordinance discriminates and that it places landlords in the precarious position of acting as federal immigration officers. Their attorneys say the ordinance attempts to regulate immigration, a duty that is exclusively the federal government’s. One lawsuit also alleges the council violated the state open meetings act when deciding on the ordinance.
It’s true that it discriminates — it discriminates against people here illegally, just like anti-murder laws discriminate against murderers. The attorneys who say the ordinance is regulating immigration should be given a dictionary with the entry for illegal highlighted so the attorneys can remember to use it in the phrase “illegal immigration.” I can agree that the ordinance would put a burden on landlords, but companies already work under the same requirement of determining their employees’ citizenship or immigrant status.
And here’s a lovely picture and caption that goes along with the AP News article.
Natalie Villafranca, 6, left, holds a flag as her mother, Elizabeth Villafranca, holds a sign in front of city hall in Farmers Branch, Texas in this Aug. 26, 2006 file photo. Residents of Farmers Branch cast ballots Saturday, May 12, 2007 on whether to repeal or approve a ban on landlords renting apartments to most illegal immigrants in their Dallas suburb, the nation’s first municipality to put the matter to a vote.
I can answer Elizabeth Villafranca easily — the city is racist only if the ordinance applies just to illegal immigrants from one race. But if the ordinance addresses illegal immigrants only, then it is color-blind, and Farmers Branch is not racist.
I applaud the efforts of the people and city council of Farmers Branch, and I would like to see more cities to work against illegal immigration rather than being sactuary cities. And while we are working to clean up inside the nation, how about we actually secure our borders?