As of Monday, English is now the official language of a small inner suburb of Dallas, called Farmers Branch. Farmers Branch has a population of about 26,000. This doesn't mean other languages can't be used for social or business in the city, but it means the city will no longer be providing Spanish translated information for anything provided to people within the city. Another city ordinance that passed on Monday was that illegal immigrant, as of January 2007, will no longer be able to rent apartments within the city. Within this ordinance, they are going to watch what happens over the next six months and potentially make it so illegal immigrants can't rent houses either.
There is a lot of noise going both ways. My housekeeper was over yesterday and is very upset because of this issue. She's actually a homeowner in Farmers Branch so this doesn't necessarily directly effect her, but most of her friends are renters. She said that someone yelled out at the rally that illegal immigrants were only good for cleaning their toilets. My jaw dropped to the ground. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
Here's a quote from The Dallas Morning News: "I think Farmers Branch is saying that we don't mind if you work here - probably in minimum-wage jobs cutting our grass and washing the dishes in restaurants - and we don't mind if you spend your money here and shop, but we don't want you to live here ... and we're going to use living requirements to enforce that," said Gerry Henigsman, executive vice president of the apartment association."
All I can say is WOW! What Farmers Branch doesn't see is all the work the illegal immigrants do in the Dallas area because their small little city is very old and built out. They don't have any areas of new developments. If they did, they would know it's the illegal immigrants who are building all the houses in our areas. They're the ones roughing in the plumbing. They're the ones pouring the slab. They're the ones putting up the sheetrock, texturing and painting. They're the ones bricking the homes and putting the roofs on. They're the ones laying the sod and planting all the landscaping... they do it all! And sometimes all you need to do is bring them a 6-pack of Cerveza and they'll follow you home to paint your rooms or fix your fence or something like that. They aren't greedy, but they like their beer!!
Anyway, many think there is no way this ordinance is going to stand up in court. Many people don't think Farmers Branch is going to want to pay the legal fees if there are many court cases. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
Here is the link to one of the stories.
Picture courtesy of the Dallas Morning News.