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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Thumbs up Farmers Branch, Texas: City Bans Apartment Rentals to Illegal Aliens

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...g.2e4f0c5.html
    FB migrant law faces May vote


    City to implement ban on illegal immigrant renters Friday


    10:45 AM CST on Tuesday, January 9, 2007


    By STEPHANIE SANDOVAL / The Dallas Morning News

    FARMERS BRANCH – Voters will decide in May whether they want to keep a controversial ordinance banning apartment rentals to illegal immigrants. But the city will go ahead and implement the ordinance Friday as originally planned, rather than wait on the election.

    The City Council made its decision unanimously Monday, but in deciding to put the matter to a vote, it could not consider complaints from residents who said many of the signatures were obtained through misinformation. Allegations of deception had led to calls that the petition be thrown out.

    REX C. CURRY / Special Contributor
    An overflow crowd in City Hall watched the council meeting on TV.


    The petition submitted in November with more than 900 valid signatures of registered Farmers Branch voters forced the council to decide Monday whether to hold the public vote on the ordinance they adopted in November, or repeal the law.
    Council members made no comment on their decision, but the audience erupted in cheers and applause.

    "Job well done by the City Council," said resident David Koch, who has vowed to run for a council seat in May. "I think they stood up like President Roosevelt more than 50 years ago to battle for the average citizen. I'm pleased with the outcome."

    He and other members of www.supportfarmersbranch.com said they had obtained signed complaints from more than 150 residents – and expect double that – who say they were misled about the purpose of the petition drive or had not read the statement on the petition.

    Uniting Farmers Branch, a group of residents opposed to the ordinance, and LULAC led the petition drive.

    Also Online
    WFAA-TV's Steve Stoler reports
    Protestors and speakers discuss
    En español


    Each page of the petition included a sworn statement that the person who collected the signatures on that page read the statement of purpose to each registered voter before they signed the petition.

    Tom Bohmier, one of the organizers of www.supportfarmers branch.com, said many residents say that never happened and that they were told the petition was to show support for the city's actions.

    The petition statement said that those who signed it protest adoption of the ordinance and ask the city to hold a referendum on it.

    "This petition process was a total waste of our time and attention," Mr. Bohmier said. "Based on that, the residents request the City Council consider making Uniting Farmers Branch pay for any costs associated with putting this to ballot and to have their circulators be addressed by whatever legal measures are appropriate."

    Yelling match
    The accusations, first raised outside City Hall in a news conference, prompted a yelling match between some supporters and opponents of the ordinance.
    REX C. CURRY / Special Contributor
    Elizabeth Villafranca (left) argues with Farmers Branch resident Tim Scott about an ordinance banning apartment owners from renting to illegal immigrants.


    Chris McGuire, one of the leaders of Uniting Farmers Branch, said he's willing to talk with those who accuse the group of deception – provided they could do so calmly.

    "Let's talk among each other and not yell," he said. "If someone did something wrong, let's find out and hold them accountable. But we think this whole big circus is a bad idea."
    Heated arguments erupted throughout the night, and some opponents of the ordinance faced heckling from its supporters.
    Some foes who live outside Farmers Branch, including League of Latin American Citizens member and community activist Carlos Quintanilla and Michael A. Gonzales of the Farmers Branch Volunteer Committee, stood up just after the vote and criticized the council for not allowing them to speak before the decision was made.

    City residents were allowed to speak before the vote, but nonresidents were held off until after several other items of business had been addressed.

    "Many people came to speak and were not allowed to," Mr. Gonzales said.

    Mr. Quintanilla said a group of merchants will file a lawsuit against the city Tuesday.

    The merchants allege that the city ordinance and a companion policy making English the city's official language have hurt their business.

    "I'm talking to a lot of people, people with papers and legal status in the United States," Farmers Branch resident and LULAC member Luis de la Garza said Monday. "They say, 'We don't have to go to a city that doesn't like Hispanic people.' "
    Mr. Quintanilla said Sunday that 35 Farmers Branch restaurants, beauty salons, furniture stores and real estate companies would be part of the suit.

    Mr. de la Garza said that as of Monday there are 14 businesses involved.

    Patricia Lynn, who owns a Mexican restaurant called Las Regias, said her business is down about 40 percent in the last two months.

    "Everybody's afraid" of being stopped by police or being harassed, she said.

    But longtime Farmers Branch resident and political observer Marty Giehrl said it's ironic Mr. Quintanilla and Mr. de la Garza complain businesses are losing customers, after calling for a boycott in the city last fall, in protest of what was then just a suggestion of a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

    "They got it," Mr. Giehrl said. "They should be happy with their success."

    Lawsuits pending
    The city is already facing three lawsuits.
    One is from a resident accusing the city of violating open meetings laws in debating the merits of the ordinance behind closed doors, another is from three apartment complexes, and the other is from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

    Marisol Perez of MALDEF and Lisa Graybill of the ACLU said they were disappointed with the city's decision but think the courts will issue an injunction quickly halting the city from enforcing the ordinance.

    The first court hearing scheduled for any of the suits is Jan. 22, 10 days after the ordinance is to take effect.

    City officials said Monday that there has been $6,105 in contributions to a fund to help the city defray the costs of the lawsuits, and several residents handed over checks during Monday's meetings.

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  2. #2
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    "I'm talking to a lot of people, people with papers and legal status in the United States," Farmers Branch resident and LULAC member Luis de la Garza said Monday. "They say, 'We don't have to go to a city that doesn't like Hispanic people.' "
    Douchebag. Nobody mentioned a single word about ethnicity. An immigrant to any country should be speaking that country's language, or at least learning to do so. If you want to be served in Spanish, go live in a Spanish-speaking country.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  3. #3
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    That's the tactic that LULAC uses to get everything that they want. People are really getting numb to the race card (even native Hispanics, many of whom spoke in favor of the ban).

    Some people recognize shit when they see it, and others dive into it like it was a bubblebath.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-10-07 at 01:17 AM.

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    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Angry Update - Judge Blocks Farmers Branch Anti-Illegal Immigration Ordinance

    http://www.nbc5i.com/news/10724404/detail.html

    POSTED: 12:29 pm CST January 11, 2007
    UPDATED: 12:36 pm CST January 11, 2007

    DALLAS -- A judge on Thursday blocked the controversial Farmers Branch anti-illegal immigrant ordinance from taking effect on Friday.

    State District Judge Robert H. Frost granted the 14-day stay asked by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union.

    He set a January 22nd hearing in Dallas on whether the temporary restraining order should be made a temporary injunction pending a full trial.

    The ordinance would require apartment landlords to verify the citizenship or immigration status of their tenants.

    MALDEF and the ACLU filed a suit late last month alleging the ordinance is so poorly drafted that it could prevent legal immigrants and citizens from renting and doesn't provide clear guidance for apartment managers and owners.

    The City Council approved the ordinance late last year. On Monday, the City Council voted to put the ordinance on the ballot May 12th to allow voters a chance to approve it or get rid of it. But it said it would allow the ordinance to take effect tomorrow, as scheduled.

    Farmers Branch faces several lawsuits challenging its ordinance.
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    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-11-07 at 01:53 PM.

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