May 22, 2024

Local Immigration Laws

The ACLU and Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund say:

Farmers Branch’s ordinance prohibiting apartment landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants discriminates against Latinos…

Yes, it does.  So what?  Latinos represent the overwhelming majority of illegals; it’s correct that the law should target them.  Note that this isn’t because Americans are inherently anti-Mexican or that Hispanics are bad people.  It’s simply a reflection of reality:  most illegals are from Mexico; therefore, immigration law impacts Mexicans more than any other nationality.  So I have no sympathy whatsoever for this position.  It’s posturing for the press and for the Latino vote by people who are too smart to believe their own hot air.

Another legal argument that will be made relates to the question of jurisdiction.  Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU, says:

The power to regulate immigration belongs to the federal government; otherwise you’d have cities, counties, towns and other entities creating their own immigration laws, which would be unenforceable.

The first part of this point is valid, IMHO.  The Feds should set immigration policy and provide the enforcement framework along with some of the manpower needed to enforce the law, the remainder coming from local law enforcement as an extension of their normal duties.

However, when the federal government is utterly negligent in their duty, as it has been during the Clinton and Bush 43 years, are local communities simply to ignore their responsibilities to their constituents?  No.  Farmer’s Branch leaders should be commended for moving ahead with their local ordinances despite threats from advocacy groups and the federal courts.  If nothing else their initiative will force the issue to be heard at the national level.

Furthermore, I don’t accept Graybill’s assertion that local ordinances would be unenforceable.  Why would that be?  Local police enforce any number of local laws; why are immigration offenses any different?  They aren’t.  It may be that immigration violators end up in the federal court system after being arrested on local violations.  I don’t see that as a problem – we do it for other offenses already.

In a final tug at liberal heart strings, the suit indicates that the ordinance “will force families to separate”.  Again I ask, so what?  If the Feds weren’t asleep at the wheel they would be deporting the illegal portions of these families already.  As sad as this can be on a case-by-case basis, it’s really irrelevant to any logical examination of the argument.

To City Attorney Matthew Boyle:  Good luck, sir!


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

View all posts by marc →