Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

LANDLORDS BLAST ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT RULE (FARMER'S BRANCH)
The Houston Chronicle ^ | 15 November 2006 | THOMAS KOROSEC and TERRI LANGFORD

Posted on 11/15/2006 3:21:58 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Apartment owners in Dallas suburb say it isn't their job to police tenants' status

FARMERS BRANCH — A day after this Dallas suburb passed a controversial measure barring landlords from renting to illegal immigrants, apartment owners denounced the new rule Tuesday, saying they are ill-equipped to police tenants' immigration status. ''The last thing I want to be doing is asking, 'Where's your papers?' " said Angie Iraheta, manager of the 142-unit Villa Marquis Apartments. ''And how am I supposed to know if what they're giving me is real?" Under the ordinance, which takes effect in January, landlords must ask new tenants to provide proof of citizenship or residency for every person living in the unit, from newborns to the elderly, or be fined up to $500 per undocumented person, per day.

A number of landlords and apartment associations blasted the new rule, complaining they weren't allowed any input into the decision, were singled out among the business community and weren't given clear enforcement guidelines. ''Landlords can't really serve as law enforcement or be held accountable for carrying out a function that belongs with the government," said Gerry Henigsman, executive vice president of the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, which represents 1,600 apartment owners in the region, including the dozen or so complexes in Farmers Branch that will be affected by the new ordinance. "Farmers Branch conveniently moves the responsibility for immigration enforcement to the landlord and says, 'If you don't do it we're going to fine you,' " he said.

Mixed message?

Henigsman said the Farmers Branch City Council passed its ordinance without giving his group an opportunity to comment. Council members allowed people to voice their opposition or support of the measure only after the vote was taken Monday. "I was shocked they passed it and after the fact said they were going to allow public input," said Henigsman, who had prepared to address the council. "It kind of defeats the whole idea of public input." He noted that Farmers Branch dropped a proposal to penalize businesses for hiring illegal immigrants and instead singled out apartment housing. "I think it's telling illegal immigrants, 'We don't mind you working in our city in minimum-wage jobs, cutting our grass. We don't mind you spending money in our stores. We just don't want you living here and sending your children to our schools," he said. Iraheta, at the Villa Marquis, said a mix of immigrants lives in the 37-year-old complex, where rents range from $495 to $800 a month. "We have Asians, Mexicans, a little of everything," she said. "This is going to be bad for business. It's not very welcoming."

Farmers Branch council member Tim O'Hare, who initiated the measure, and Mayor Bob Phelps, who supported it, did not return repeated calls from the Houston Chronicle seeking comment Tuesday. In addition to the rental rule, the council resolved Monday to make English its official language, meaning city business will be done in English, and voted to enroll police officers in a federal training program that will make them de facto immigration officers.

'It won't hurt me'

Not all Farmers Branch landlords oppose the new ordinance. "There's going to be some hard feelings brought about, but I'm sure it's going to put a damper on some of this illegal immigration into the city," said J.L. Stewart, who owns several rental houses in the city and actively supported the new restrictions. Stewart's rentals will not be affected by the ordinance, which covers only apartment complexes and exempts current tenants with leases. However, after six months it could be extended to cover rental houses. "It won't hurt me because I check on that already," said Stewart, who lived in the city for three decades before moving out two years ago. He said he does not check immigration papers but requires that tenants speak English. "That pretty much cuts out the illegals," he said. Farmers Branch is the first city in Texas to pass an illegal immigrant rental ban, but at least three cities across the country have enacted similar measures: Escondido, Calif.; Hazleton, Pa.; and Valley Park, Mo. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund won a restraining order against the Hazleton ordinance. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund similarly put a temporary halt to the Missouri ordinance, but there are jurisdictional questions as to whether MALDEF should have filed in federal court instead of state district court. And on Thursday, a federal judge in California will consider granting MALDEF's request to block enforcement of Escondido's ban.

Groups are reviewing

Marisol Perez, a staff attorney with MALDEF's southwest regional office in Austin, said her organization is reviewing the Farmers Branch measure. ''We are concerned," Perez said. ''It puts landlords in a very difficult position. It's asking them to act as immigration officers." The ban also puts a burden on legal immigrants, she said, who will have to present proof that they are legal residents. George Allen, executive vice president of the Texas Apartment Association in Austin, said his organization also is reviewing the ordinance to see if it can be defeated legally. ''We need time to digest the ordinance, to have our attorneys look it over," Allen said. ''It's unfair to target one industry." Under current practices in Texas, he said, tenants typically provide not much more than a driver's license or other photo identification to prospective landlords.

Terri Langford reported from Houston.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; farmersbranch; illegalimmigrants; immigrantlist; landlords; texas
MALDEF, ACLU and others will stop this. Not going to allow it to happen.
1 posted on 11/15/2006 3:22:00 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
''It's unfair to target one industry." Under current practices in Texas, he said, tenants typically provide not much more than a driver's license or other photo identification to prospective landlords.

I don't think it is 'one industry.' Smoking police have been in the restaurant business and other businesses for some time--and smoking is legal. Furthermore, you may have to show ID to buy smokes.

2 posted on 11/15/2006 3:30:13 AM PST by Snoopers-868th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Learn to deal with it.


3 posted on 11/15/2006 3:34:53 AM PST by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Snoopers-868th
I don't think it is 'one industry.' Smoking police have been in the restaurant business and other businesses for some time--and smoking is legal. Furthermore, you may have to show ID to buy smokes.

Agreed. It isn't only one industry. However it is another example where the Government, failing to enforce their own laws are mandating that the private sector do their job for them.

4 posted on 11/15/2006 3:37:50 AM PST by rhombus (Listen to the Troops NOT the politicians.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

"Cutting our grass" Quit the bs. With all the free services you get you earn way more than I do. Low wages my a$$.


5 posted on 11/15/2006 3:38:31 AM PST by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freekitty
Learn to deal with it.

You may have misunderstood me. If you have read some of my other posts...waiting for someone with backbone AND backing to stand up and let folks know which end is up. Backbone here, no backing.

6 posted on 11/15/2006 3:39:41 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: rhombus

And I agree with you, however, I do wonder just how many of those landowners backed the smoking bans and laws? How many will back the food police, etc. I am sick of a minority of peoples' ability to get the attention to promote their cause resulting in the nanny state.


7 posted on 11/15/2006 3:45:06 AM PST by Snoopers-868th
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
"It won't hurt me because I check on that already," said Stewart, who...requires that tenants speak English. "That pretty much cuts out the illegals..."

I also like the analogy of the requirement to verify ID for tobacco and alchohol.

8 posted on 11/15/2006 3:47:01 AM PST by n230099 ("If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

TOUGH SHIITE!!!


9 posted on 11/15/2006 3:53:30 AM PST by shekkian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: n230099
Valid point.
10 posted on 11/15/2006 3:54:30 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

If landlords will even minimally implement these requirements of the law, they'll find the quality of life improving exponentially in Farmers Branch; as it would in any other area that enforces immigration laws.


11 posted on 11/15/2006 4:21:52 AM PST by fwdude (LEFT LANE ENDS . . . MERGE RIGHT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Under the ordinance, which takes effect in January, landlords must ask new tenants to provide proof of citizenship or residency for every person living in the unit, from newborns to the elderly, or be fined up to $500 per undocumented person, per day.



I wonder which documents the ordinance specified as acceptable for proof. It shouldn't be a problem for the landlords provided the City specified which documents are acceptable as proof. The burden shouldn't be placed upon the landlords to prove the documents legit but rather that they were provided and appeared legit. It will be interesting to watch locals who have resided in the area all their life have to dig up the same info upon moving into a rental unit.


12 posted on 11/15/2006 4:50:32 AM PST by deport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
Hazelton, PA, which has a very tough law similar to this, has folks wishing to rent apply for a "renter's permit." This moves the responsibility off the landlord. Makes sense to me.

More on Hazelton's law.

13 posted on 11/15/2006 4:52:23 AM PST by upchuck (Republicans didn`t lose this time around because they were conservative, but because they WEREN`T!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: upchuck
Until earlier this year, I rented an apartment not too far from Farmers Branch. I had to provide my drivers licenses (they took a xerox), my SSN, references, job history, residence history, ran my credit history, and demanded a CHECK (not cash) from a local bank for a deposit before I got the keys.

Wow, maybe I should start claiming racism because I had to do all that paperwork.

14 posted on 11/15/2006 5:52:13 AM PST by pikachu (For every action there is an equal and opposite government program - Fig Newtons 1st Law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: pikachu

Any Landlord who doesn't do the things youe describe is not on the up and up....I got turned down back in my calledge days for missing a payment on a previous rental. One more note,if I was a legal tenant in this complex mentioned in the article,I would move out.


15 posted on 11/15/2006 6:06:18 AM PST by Minnesoootan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
Good...

These landlords (in most cases slumlords) have been using illegal aliens as cashcows for years. The can charge the illegals all the market will bear and they never have to worry about the illegal's complaining about problems with the apartments because of their fear of being reported to INS.

Landlords and business's that cater toward illegals and hire illegals should all be targeted with huge civil and criminal penalties. Many of the illegals will quickly go home or not come in the first place if they can't find a place to live, get a job, or even get a check cashed.

In fact, I'm of the opinion that you should have to provide proof that you are a citizen or in the country legally to get any utilities turned on, make any sort of wire transfers or other financial transactions or even make any large scale purchases such as a automobile or home.

16 posted on 11/15/2006 6:13:07 AM PST by apillar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
Dear INS:

Apartments at 550 E. Bethany Dr. Allen TX.

ILLEGALS abound, you should have a job for a long time.

I'm sure you will be right over.

17 posted on 11/15/2006 6:19:29 AM PST by unixfox (The 13th Amendment Abolished Slavery, The 16th Amendment Reinstated It !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
The ban also puts a burden on legal immigrants, she said, who will have to present proof that they are legal residents.

It's called a green card. Is it really such of a burden to pull one out of your wallet?

18 posted on 11/15/2006 6:19:56 AM PST by hellinahandcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

That was not directed at you personally. It was to the whiners in the article who reciet the name bs over and over.


19 posted on 11/15/2006 7:34:23 AM PST by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Our government as well as forieners are trying to gut our country as fast as they can. It just takes longer because America is a big country. They are trying to make us go broke.


20 posted on 11/15/2006 7:36:06 AM PST by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: deport
I wonder which documents the ordinance specified as acceptable for proof. It shouldn't be a problem for the landlords provided the City specified which documents are acceptable as proof. The burden shouldn't be placed upon the landlords to prove the documents legit but rather that they were provided and appeared legit. It will be interesting to watch locals who have resided in the area all their life have to dig up the same info upon moving into a rental unit.

I would assume that proof of citizenship (birth certificate or US passport) would be all that would be required of US citizens, and US visas are actually fairly hard to fake. Unfortunately the US government doesn't like to show people what those visas look like so it's difficult to look at one and say 'yes, this is real.' I haven't seen samples on the USCIS's website at all.

21 posted on 11/15/2006 7:46:54 AM PST by nofaceveils
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
The last thing I want to be doing is asking, 'Where's your papers?' " said Angie Iraheta

Bullcrap! Every time I rented an apartment, the landlord ran a thorough credit check on me before signing the lease. That's a whole lot more than "where's your papers?"

22 posted on 11/15/2006 7:48:38 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
"It won't hurt me because I check on that already," said Stewart

That's what good landlords do. It's the slumlords who are unhappy.

23 posted on 11/15/2006 7:57:04 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: apillar
These landlords (in most cases slumlords) have been using illegal aliens as cashcows for years. The can charge the illegals all the market will bear and they never have to worry about the illegal's complaining about problems with the apartments because of their fear of being reported to INS.

They are slumlords, and they don't maintain their places.

24 posted on 11/15/2006 8:00:04 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

No way this flies unless tenants lose property rights. Surprise inspections and warrantless searches for evidence of occupancy must be allowed.


25 posted on 11/15/2006 8:01:47 AM PST by RGSpincich
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
"...Where's your papers?"

26 posted on 11/15/2006 8:01:54 AM PST by evets (Beer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: upchuck
Makes sense to me.

Me too.

27 posted on 11/15/2006 8:28:22 AM PST by RGSpincich
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
This is easy to fix--put the onus on the city. Make the renter go get certified from the city itself--like a license to park a car. After the initial organizational problems, shouldn't be worse than a visit to the DMV. Might go a long way towards controlling other crime, too.

I agree that the landlords cannot police immigration, but they can check for "license to rent"--!

In Europe, you cannot rent a motel room without a passport.

28 posted on 11/15/2006 8:31:01 AM PST by Mamzelle (Make your own darn bed, Mrs. Snow.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Maybe its time for the Fire Marshall to inspect some apartments in that area. See how many folks are living in one hole.


29 posted on 11/15/2006 8:33:56 AM PST by linn37 (Love your Phlebotomist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: evets

Papers? We don't need no stinking papers!


30 posted on 11/15/2006 8:39:27 AM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: rhombus

Yup. Somebody didn't do their job, and now they want landlords to take up the slack.

IMO, LEO all around the country should have one reaction if they find an illegal - a one way bus ticket to DC!


31 posted on 11/15/2006 8:43:13 AM PST by djf (Islam!! There's a flag on the moon! Guess whose? Hint: Not yours!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Snoopers-868th

''We are concerned," Perez said. ''It puts landlords in a very difficult position. It's asking them to act as immigration officers."

I do agree to a point.

Our Immigration officials, unfortunately, have failed to the job they are being paid for, so all of us now have to take up the slack, in one form or fashion.


32 posted on 11/15/2006 8:44:40 AM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: djf

Wow! Posted at the same time! FReepers (same thing as great minds) do think alike.


33 posted on 11/15/2006 8:46:17 AM PST by GrouchoTex (...and ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
I see that our amigo Mel will soon be the head of the RNC and he has said that we must have a comprehensive immigration reform...i.e. open borders. This and all of the other laws will mean nothing. Sad to watch a once vibrant political party commit slow suicide.
34 posted on 11/15/2006 8:51:45 AM PST by engrpat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

DC? It might also be nice to send them to one of these so-called "safe-cities". San Fran I think being one of them.


35 posted on 11/15/2006 9:06:03 AM PST by rhombus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

ping


36 posted on 11/15/2006 9:21:50 AM PST by gubamyster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I hope thousands of municipalities do this. It should keep these leftest groups busy for awhile.


37 posted on 11/15/2006 7:57:27 PM PST by TheLion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

I don't understand why people are bothering with this.
It's futile.

The illegals and open-borders crowd won via the election last Tuesday.

It's all over. The border will really be erased and amnesty the law
in less than a year.


38 posted on 11/15/2006 8:00:36 PM PST by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pikachu

I used to work over in that area 15+ years ago. If you went to the post office on the wrong day, it was full of Mexicans sending money home.

I would guess that a lot of the landlords that are screaming rent mostly to this crowd (and there are probably more of them now than there were back then).


39 posted on 11/15/2006 8:07:45 PM PST by Moiraine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: VOA
The border will really be erased and amnesty the law in less than a year.

Right on target.

40 posted on 11/15/2006 8:25:08 PM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: upchuck
Liberal organizations and their attorneys will NOT allow this to happen. Today's Austin American-Statesman story:

Click here for Statesman story.

41 posted on 11/17/2006 4:58:55 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson