DALLAS — Unable to wait a full week after their shellacking in national elections, the far right in Texas unmasked its fanatical racism on Nov. 13. While state legislators amassed anti-immigrant bills for the coming year’s session, the City Council of Farmers Branch, a town located just north of Dallas, unanimously approved some of the most anti-immigrant measures in the nation.
Progressive activists in North Texas had scarcely a day’s warning about the plan to impose the harshly punitive proposals, which had been quietly shelved during the pre-election period.
When word leaked out that the proposals were going to be reconsidered, civil rights activist Diana Flores sent out e-mail messages on Nov. 12, calling for immigrant rights supporters to step forward “to say no to the anti-immigrant initiatives that are labeled by many as anti-American, anti-family, and anti-Christian.”
About 200 people, including state Reps. Roberto Alonzo and Rafael Anchia, gathered both inside and outside the City Council meeting room to protest the proposed ordinances, which include making English the town’s “official language,” fining landlords for renting to undocumented workers, and directing local police to enforce immigration laws.
Despite the protest, the council adopted the measures. It graciously decided not to enact anything against employers.
Similar bills in the state legislative hopper would, among other things, push the children of undocumented workers out of school and cut off emergency health care.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Mexican American Legal Defense Fund are expected to contest the Farmers Branch ordinance.
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