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The Open Borders Meltdown By: Roberta Leguizamon
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, November 16, 2006

As it becomes clearer each day that the federal government has no real plans to enforce immigration law in this country, more and more local communities have begun searching for ways to deal with their own illegal residents. Taking Hazelton, Pa.’s cue, over 50 communities in the United States have debated and/or passed similar legislation aimed at reducing the incentives for people to move to their towns illegally. Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas, has become the first Texas town to pass such legislation.

Monday night the city council passed unanimously the “Tim O’Hare Ordinances,” which will, as the McClatchy Newspapers reports:

  • Require city officials to conduct nearly all official business in English.
  • Prohibit landlords from renting apartments to people who cannot prove their citizenship or legal status
  • Have city police enter into a cooperative agreement with federal immigration officials to target "criminal aliens."

The legislation has stirred up quite a hornets’ nest in the normally quiet town. As Patrick McGee reported in the Arlington Star-Telegraph, “His [O’Hare’s] proposals brought dozens of activists on both sides of the issue to the Sept. 5 council meeting, where they got into a screaming match outside the council chambers.” During the previous week, Farmers Branch Mayor Bob Phelps awoke to discover that vandals had painted “Viva Mexicos” on the side of his home. And several outlets reported that the council chamber was overflowing into the street Monday night with thousands of demonstrators, both for and against the new laws.


As might be expected, the Open Borders lobby isn’t about to take this one lying down. The ACLU, LULAC and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund have been fighting sleepy little Farmers Branch since O’Hare first brought it up. On Sunday, Stephanie Sandoval of the Dallas Morning News reported:

Will Harrell, executive director of the ACLU of Texas, said he had a conference call Friday with representatives of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund and LULAC.

The organizations have teamed up to fight ordinances targeting illegal immigrants in other cities and states, and they will do so in Farmers Branch "if the city is imprudent enough" to adopt any of the suggested ordinances, Mr. Harrell said.

He said the city could expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs.

Of course, LULAC isn’t stopping with the courts. In August, after O’Hare brought these suggestions to the floor, nbc5i.com reported that LULAC planned “to purchase every home for sale in the city to make them available for Hispanic [read: illegal immigrant] families.” They also sponsored demonstrations, attracting a gathering of some 2,000 protesters to city hall on August 26 to protest the mere possibility of anti-illegal immigration legislation. After their demand for his resignation fell on deaf ears, they even called for a recall of O’Hare, attacking him as, you guessed it, a “racist” for suggesting that immigrants obey the law when coming to America. And LULAC’s Hector Flores hysterically told the Dallas News, “Farmers Branch is now going to be a city of hate… The Statue of Liberty must be crying right now.”

LULAC spokesman Carlos Quintanilla has gone even further to spread outrageous lies regarding the legislation. One widely-circulated sound clip captured Quintanilla claiming to a gathering at a local church that if, “The city of Farmers Branch makes it English only, then, for example, this church would be prohibited from having Mass in Spanish.” The statement is a blatant lie, but that didn’t keep Quintanilla from repeating similar propaganda.

When KRLD News Radio 1080’s Ernie Brown and Jay McFarland challenged Quintanilla on his claims regarding church services, he declared that the first version of the English only ordinance, “would have made it illegal as an ordinance to speak anything but English in Farmers Branch. We’re glad that Farmers Branch watered down the English only.” But when Ernie and Jay repeatedly asked him to provide evidence that this was the city council’s intent, Quintanilla tried to shout them down, hysterically claiming that a new Marriott being built in Farmers Branch would be forced to hire people who speak only English. Clearly LULAC is doing its best to misrepresent the council’s intentions and galvanize the city’s Hispanic community against these laws.

As for LULAC’s partners in Open Borders extremism, Fort Worth’s Fox 4 reported Monday night:

Attorneys for the ACLU say the local ordinances could contradict federal laws against discrimination.

"This is really the federal government's bailiwick," said Becky Burdnhardt of the ACLU.

She says the ordinance would put local business owners in a legal tug-of-war.

"They could violate the local ordinance on one end, or violate anti-discrimination laws on the other end," she said. "It's an impossible position to put local business people in."

It is worth noting that when the tiny Texas town of El Cenizo voted to make Spanish its official language in August, the ACLU, let alone LULAC, didn't make a peep.

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Roberta Leguizamon earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University and is a Contributing Editor to Frontpage Magazine.

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