Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: English is the Official Language in Farmers Branch, TX

English is the Official Language in Farmers Branch, TX

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.

LARA SOLT / DMN

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.

 

Comment balloon 22 commentsDonna Harris • November 15 2006 01:22PM

Comments

This is very upsetting. What are these families going to do for housing since they cant rent in that town anymore? But this wont stand in court.

Secondly,  " 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!!"  Are you sure know what you are writing? I am offended by your blog but it doesnt surprise me that there is still this stereotypical attitude in this country. Being a first generation mexican american with a college degree i still face this treatment everyday.  

Posted by Eddy Martinez (Nationwide Funding Group) over 11 years ago

Donna,

We have a similar situation brewing in Escondido, CA, a San Diego suburb.  Both sides are screaming so loud that noone can be heard!

I believe in securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal aliens...HOWEVER...

putting a family out on the street?  That seems a tad excessive, doesn't it? 

Here's the interesting opportunity for you:  Non-resident aliens are allowed to own real estate.  Most lenders require a hefty downpayment but it gives tyou a chance to "voice your opinion" in a positive way.

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 11 years ago

Eddy, my comment was not to be offensive.  I was pointing out that in the new communities where they are doing all the building of the homes, the superintendants tell the new home buyers that if they ever need anything done while workers are around, that all they have to do is ask, and they'll come right over.  They also suggest offering something like beer as an offering as I believe they are not allowed to accept money unless it's done off the clock with the current job they're working on.  I apologize if I didn't make that clear.

Also, the ordinance said that families currently under a lease are not effected.  There is a possibility that when the lease comes up for renewal, that the apartments might not renew their lease, but we won't know until next year what happens at that point.  I'm sure many apartment complexes will allow the tenants to stay month to month because in Texas, if there is a month to month agreement or an agreement under 12 months, it does not have to be in writing, so maybe no paperwork to turn in, who knows...  Maybe they'll come up with an amendment to current leases that extend them so "new" leases don't have to be created with the paperwork check.

Only time will tell.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago
Brian, I actually did point that out to my housekeeper so she would refer me some of her friends as they really like the neighborhood.  The problem is, it's a little pricey to be in Farmers Branch compared to the city just north of it. My housekeeper's been here for 16 years and they have owned their home for about 10.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago
We live in south Florida, it seems that more people speak Spansh than English. I speak a little Spanish but it does get to be a bit much at times. Each country speaks a different Spanish with different words.
Posted by Christine Adler, SE Palm Beach, Broward & NE Miami-Dade Counties FL (FindAHomeWithMe.com) over 11 years ago

  Borders, language, culture. The three most important ideas for a country to survive. Last time i checked English was the official language of the United States, not Spanish.  

Posted by Shane Ramer (Solano Mortgage) over 11 years ago

Well, Eddy...you know "Them damn Messicans likes their Cerveza"

"It's St. Patrick's Day...I'm drunk..so I'm Irish today" I PERSONALLY HATE THIS ONE

"he "jewed" his price down"

"antoher Jap taking pictures at Disneyland"

You are not alone. Eddy   I'm sure that Donna meant no harm.  It's just an education process, amigo.  You were correct to point that out.

 

 

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 11 years ago

Its ok brian crap like this doesnt phase me.................

Shane nobody is saying that spanish is the official lanuage of this country.  

Posted by Eddy Martinez (Nationwide Funding Group) over 11 years ago

I think it's the implication that Mexicans work for beer that is the stereotype Eddy and so many others (including me) dislike.  I do understand it, I'm Irish-American and hate the same implications.  Whenever I hear the Irish drunkard slur I remind them about Presidents Kennedy and Reagan being Irish.

The upward mobility of Latinos in America is probably most evident here in California.  We are educated about these stereotypes daily here so we'd be shocked if a Californian said that.

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 11 years ago

Hey Speedy Gonzalez.... ;o)  

Okay.... my 2 cents after a long day of negotiating at lunch with a good drink.  hhhhmmm... Brother Brian said it best. I also believe in the borders, illegals....etc etc. But..yes, throwing a family out. We can work around it.

Now...with that said though. Shane makes a point. I will be honest and say that it irks me when I make a call and the answering machine says..."for Spanish, press 1"  "for English, press 2"  Eddy.... I am with you in many ways. And I know the south along the borders, it's heavily populated with Spanish speaking people. But.... to have me push 2 for English?  Again....  I love everyone...well, most everyone. ;o)  But what I am saying is that I give people 2nd chances and such. And I speed... lol  But an illegal is just that. Go through the process.

Eddy...now, you are definately correct in saying that they will do just about anything for a small price or fee. And it's ashame, because they work extremely hard and good...but for pennies? But then again....taxes aren't paid...but on both sides.

The one thing that I want to mention is that these illegals actually hurt the American's pocket in many ways. I know I have gotten off the subject. But this is a big issue and I am semi glad that the US is finally steooing up to try and slow this growth down.

Anyhow....  ... just my 15 cents after my fingers are falling off.

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 11 years ago
Wow...and my poor British clients are having their fair share of difficulties trying to stay here through the stream of paperwork.
Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) over 11 years ago

Donna, thanks for your post I find these issues interesting.

Jeff, and Shane,

The United States has no official language. Immigration was originally restricted years a go for reasons rooted in racism.

This country is of many people from many cultures and languages. Spanish was the original European language spoken in that state of Texas. It was a Spanish territory for over 100 years. Most of the Counties in Texas have Spanish names. Over a quarter of the population speaks Spanish. It is therefore very odd that a city would enact a rule to have one official language.

Posted by Caleb Mardini over 11 years ago

Caleb:

Did you know that Texans is shortened slang from the moniker "Texicans"?

SOURCE:  "Texas" written by none other than the late UT English Literature Professor and great American novelist, James Michener

 

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 11 years ago

I took a course in college called "History of Irish in America".  I can guarantee you that the Irish immigrants were not drawn well in the political cartoons in the late 1800s.  A good link to this example.

Note the irishman depicted as a fighting, drunken, slothful, fat person. I guess I should have an issue with the Notre Dame mascot but I'm just not that PC.

Racism existed a long time ago, it will exist a long time from now. It's xenophobia that perpetuates hurtful stereotypes.

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 11 years ago

Caleb.... just curious, you talk about Texas. It's not the point of where you speak Spanish, it's the fact that most American's speak English. If I am making a phone call but they speak in Spanish first and then English.... I am not trying to sound rude or ignorant here, but shouldn't that bother me?  Shouldn't everyone learn English first, since it is the language that is used?

The real issue is people taking it to heart because of who they are and that they can relate to this. And this could be another topic..... sorry if I am not making sense... I am tired.

Donna... I will say one thing, that beer comment might not have been the right words.

Anyhow... I am just going to leave it at that.....  going to rest.....thanks

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 11 years ago

WOW!  Everyone take a deep breath and listen too what we're typing....  Does a driver's license make me a legal resident?  Does everyone, regardless of complexion, surname, or accent, have to show proof of citizenship?  Does working for a cold beer make me an "illegal"?   

We really need to calm down and think about what we're shouting.  We have a problem, but all of us should be cautious and try to understand the repercussions of our comments and attitudes.

 

Posted by Dennis Anderson (Century 21 Judge Fite) over 11 years ago
I have to agree completely with the language issue, English is the official language of the USA and must be presented as such.  If you move to this country learn the language!!!  I would NEVER be so arrogant as to move to another country and expect them to conform to me and learn my language, it is a given that I would have to learn their language.
Posted by Allan Pape over 11 years ago

Well, I have to say that I find it a bit embarrassing to be unilingual when in so many First World countries the populace is generally at least bilingual.  Don't really see being less educated than those living in other countries as something to be particularly proud of.  Fortunately, my children had the opportunity in the schools they attended (private) to learn other languages, and my daughter is studying yet others on her own time, so I'm not passing that failing on to the next generation. 

Illegal immigration, I do have a problem with, because it is, after all, illegal - these people deliberately broke the law (except the ones who were brought here by their parents).  But they've been here so long that untangling them from the skeins of our life, and even more, their children who were born here, is not a simple black-and-white matter (hardly anything ever is) and needs to be dealt with with more thought and less emotion than is usually displayed in regards to the issue. 

Jeff, I've had the "Press 1 for English" experience - I live in Texas, and thus am more likely than most to do so.  But I've always heard English first, and Spanish second, except for those where you have to push a button for Spanish but don't have to for English (rare, but I've heard them).  Where are you hearing that? 

 

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago

Tricia, What's sad is that it's a requirement for each high school student to take so many semesters of a foreign language just to graduate.  So many try to learn the second language, I know I tried, but when it's not put into everyday situations, how is anyone supposed to retain that stuff?  I learned more Spanish waiting tables and bartending in college than I did in high school.

Plus, I took 4 semesters of German in college.  I was doing very well with that until they switched our professor on us the last semester and all he talked about was WW2 so nothing was retained. 

So sad because I would love to know another language, but it hasn't worked out.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago

It should be offered much earlier.  My children both took languages in elementary school, and studies have shown that the younger you are the easier it is to learn more than one language and the more you retain. 

High school is WAY to late to start learning a second language.  But as long as we put a higher priority on "English is our official language" than on being educated enough to know more than one, that's the way it'll stay, I'm afraid.

 

 

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago
Tricia makes some excellent points.
Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 11 years ago
Very true that other languages should be offered earlier.  My niece is not even 5 and she knows a lot of Spanish just from watching Dora and a couple of other shows that teach like that.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) over 11 years ago

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