How Farmers Branch Could've Spent the $8 Mil It Blew Defending an Illegal-Immigrant Ban

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Farmers Branch's epic, seven-and-a-half year quest to ban people living in this country illegally came to a close on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court's ruling that a city ordinance requiring tenants to prove legal residency before renting a home was unconstitutional. Whatever Mayor Bill Glancy may think, this is the end of the line. The case is doornail dead.

That's not to say Farmers Branch's legal fight achieved nothing. It inspired Hispanic activists to force the adoption of single-member council districts. It ensured that anyone who happens to Google the town immediately associates it with bigotry. And it caused the town to rack up more than $8 million in legal fees, according to The Dallas Morning News.

So we can better understand what a monumental waste of money that is, let's put that number in a bit of context.

Farmers Branch is not a large city. Its 2012 population was just shy of 30,000, meaning the rental-ban fight cost the average resident $267.

Had the City Council instead opted to spend that money on city services instead of chasing hateful windmills, it could have funded its entire fire department for a year, the library for almost six years and its senior center for 15. If the cash were poured into economic development, it would expand an annual budget line item by a factor of 20.

But let's say Farmers Branch wanted to use the money on cops. Spread over eight years, it would have funded an 18-percent increase in the number of officers patrolling the streets, who could then help satisfy the City Council's No. 1 public safety priority, which is to "decrease the number of criminal illegal aliens in the community." (This ranks just above "arrive on the scene for emergency police calls in less than 4 minutes.")

These comparisons are imperfect, and they fail to take into account variables like the generosity of Trammell Crow, who chipped in around half a million of his own money. But for a town that small, the opportunity cost of waging a stupidly expensive legal fight can be very large indeed.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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52 comments
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

Is that a picture of convicted felon Carlos Quintanilla? Why don't you ask that deadbeat dad why he can't pay his child support? 

daveys35
daveys35

Yeah, that's just what Fuckin Bitch - I mean Farmers Branch needs, more goddamn cops on the streets to terrorize citizens speeding through the 35 MPH zones that should be posted at 40 MPH at *least*, 45 for good measure.  What a complete waste of oxygen.

roo_ster
roo_ster

They could have used the $8million to implement a Soylent Green program instead, and killed two birds with one stone.



paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

On a related note, City of Farmers Branch Manager Jay Stonewall Whitegood announced the unveiling of the City's new slogan, "Atleast we're not Garland".

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

Farmers Branch: Doing Its Damnedest To Make Lewisville Look Good.

ruddski
ruddski

Eight paltry million. Pshaw. It cost the US national parks 414 million to punish the populace for Teabagger intransigence over the health care act Americans demanded.

But when Latinos want to create exclusive neighborhoods and schools, it doesn't cost them a dime, so maybe turning FB Latino makes economic sense.

Threeboys
Threeboys

I just don't understand how enforcing the law is unconstitutional.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Why can people come here illegally and ignore all the rules?

Meanwhile I can't rent an apartment, vote, buy a car, or use a credit card in a store without showing valid photo id (that would be a state issued DL).

Try moving to Mexico without papers. It ain't gonna happen.

Try moving anywhere without papers. It ain't gonna happen.

talismanthirteen
talismanthirteen

I'm confused about how attempting to stop illegal immigration is tantamount to bigotry and "hate." What a pathetically slanted story. 

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Maybe an egret habitat. Help their neighbors.

James080
James080

What if the city had instead spent the money on Cheetos. How many Cheetos would each resident get? And if they had distributed Cheetos, would the Hispanic community have objected to the Cheetos and demand Nacho Cheese Doritos instead? 


Or....what if....the federal government....actually enforced......all of the immigration laws....already on the books? How much money would Farmers Branch then have available for Cheetos distribution (they would no longer need the Doritos, would they?).

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

yeah so what, I'd rather read about how the City of Dallas misappropriated $19 million on the Trinity Lakes Deal without consequences.

shandango
shandango

@paulpsycho78  As someone who grew up in Garland and lives in Farmers Branch now, I laugh. 

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski  


Eight million is paltry? You just stepped in a big pile of stupid again.


"Farmers Branch is not a large city. Its 2012 population was just shy of 30,000, meaning the rental-ban fight cost the average resident $267." 

Daniel
Daniel

@Montemalone  North Koreans live without papers in China, for Chrissakes, an authoritarian police state where getting caught would be tantamount to a death sentence. Yet not only do they live there, they move about with minimal hindrance (albeit great vigilance) and eventually, with a little luck,  cross the border without papers into yet another country, Thailand. (Here it is their explicit aim to get arrested, so that they will be deported to Seoul.) I like your comments generally, but you're talking out of your ass here. 

ruddski
ruddski

@Montemalone

Mexicans don't like it when Americans move there in numbers sufficient to affect their local culture.

Leftist Americans don't like it when Americans move to, visit, or export their cultural norms in quantities sufficient to affect indigenous cultures, such as Mexican culture.

But on the upside, leftist Americans practically demand that Mexicans immigrate in numbers to affect American culture in America by turning it more Mexican.

Conclusion: American leftists don't like American culture very much.

In fact, I can think of one prominent leftist that is downright embarrassed that Americans who visit France don't bother to become fluent in French, while promoting policies that exempt Latinos from language proficiency requirements in regards to immigration that other cultures are expected to adhere to.

This, of course, is because everyone, regardless of national origin, race, religion, etc be treated the same in a color-blind society, so that affirmative-action policies can succeed.

Need an aspirin yet?

manpanties
manpanties

@Montemalone    you're wrong.  it can happen and it does all the time.  it only wont happen for you because you won't make it happen for you.  but you can do it.  just pick the country you want to live in, get there somehow, knock door to door asking if you can trim trees or fix the gutters, live off the cash you are given for that work, and avoid whatever immigration police are there.  some citizens of that country will bitch about you being there and go on blogs and stuff, but some people will accept you and fight for you to have rights.  send a postcard.    

ruddski
ruddski

@talisman

Because propaganda by numbskulls that can hold obvious contradictions in their head without feeling any pain at all.

Remember, most Xanax is prescribed in the US.

dingo
dingo

@talismanthirteen  

By the same pathetic logic, you are not a bigot if you are for increasing income inequality, against the poorest in our society (blacks in particular), and against rule of law.

 "Although the net benefits to natives from illegal immigrants are small, there is a sizable redistribution effect. Illegal immigration reduces the wage of native workers by an estimated $99 to $118 billion a year, and generates a gain for businesses and other users of immigrants of $107 to $128 billion. "

"The same type of education/age comparison used to measure the wage impact shows that a 10 percent increase in the size of a skill group reduced the fraction of native-born blacks in that group holding a job by 5.1 percentage points."


"Illegal immigration continues to vex the public and policymakers. Illegal immigrants have clearly benefited by living and working in the United States. Many business owners and users of immigrant labor have also benefited by having access to their labor. But some native-born Americans have also lost, and these losers likely include a disproportionate number of the poorest Americans."

http://cis.org/immigration-and-the-american-worker-review-academic-literature

Why does the Dallas Observer hate black people?

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

That is because people give a damn about Dallas. No one cares about Farmers Branch.

ruddski
ruddski

@tdkiosk

(Channeling my best Foghorn Leghorn)

Son, I say son, you're beginning to strike me as sixty watts shy of a forty-watt bulb.

But at least the time you spent doing pointless research kept you out of someone's hair. There's an upside to everything!

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@bvckvs @Threeboys 

No, it was not declared unconstitutional.  The courts determined that the action that Farmers Branch was attempting was a federal matter that belonged to the federal government.  Again it is a matter of jurisdiction that immigration is an enumerated power of the federal government.

James080
James080

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @Threeboys 

True. However there should be an exception to federal preemption allowing for state action when the federal government continually refuses to enforce entire segments of federal law, and such failure creates a compelling social or financial burden on the state.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Daniel  

I think there's some difference between DPRK and Mexico and points south.

I understand why people emigrate. Seeking a better life. I get it. But every other First World Country has immigration laws that are enforced.

If I decide to move to France, if I don't play by the rules I'm not going to have a very good life. 

And if a Frenchman decided to flee the punishing socialism and awful food to live the good life in Plano, ICE at DFW is gonna know he's here and expect that he'll be using that return ticket or else his name goes on a list and he risks being arrested and deported.

Now we have a sitch where people can walk in, settle down, and even though technically there's a risk of arrest and deportation, the reality says the opposite. Our economy is distorted, and our laws flouted. 

People want everyone to play by the same rules. 

Every day people from around the world that would love the opportunity to move to "The Greatest Country In The World" are turned down at our embassies and turned away at our ports (air, sea, and land) because they haven't jumped through the hoops or paid the right fees or acquired the correct sponsorship. Are they somehow less qualified than those that sneaked in across the southern border? 

Couples are broken apart due to immigration laws.

I'm all for more hot Mexicans coming here. Some of the hottest guys on the planet are of Latino heritage, but either we let all comers in, or we put a stop to the mass illegal immigration, and enforce the laws on the books. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@ruddski I don't need any aspirin. I've joined Washington and Colorado in my own little experiment. So far, so good.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@manpanties @Montemalone 

If you are caught in Mexico without authorization, you go to jail; and, it is not a ClubFed jail.

It receives little publicization, but Mexico has a standing army on the Guatamalen  border to prevent illegal entry into Mexico.

dballer49
dballer49

@tailsmanthirteen. First of all blacks are not the poorest of our society, there are more white people on welfare then blacks (Google it)..you are bombarded with media images that show poor blacks because that's what sell..There are 30 million black people in America and the vast majority are not poor..get your facts straight

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski  


My God, do you ever read your posts? MY inability to understand context? Come on dipshit, give me another cartoon voice to mask you bottomless pit of ignorance.

ruddski
ruddski

@tdkisok

Oh yes, your statistics are spot-on, lad. Your mater and pater would be most proud.

It's your inability to understand context that probably lead to the constant beatings, like the one you're getting right now.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski  


Your reply pretty much tells me you know I'm right. You're welcome.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@bvckvs @dsmithy3211@Threeboys 

The problem is, is that the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression; or, War of Southern Insurrection) settled the matter of federalism.


BTW some of the most bigotted and racist people that I have seen are from Northern states.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Montemalone @Daniel  

Or we could, you know, face the reality that France is not Mexico and French people are not Mexicans. They don't share a border and a common history with the southwest U.S. in the same way that Mexico does, and even though it might seem unfair to some, our immigration policy with Mexico should probably be crafted in a manner that recognizes that the challenges and practicalities of that geographical and cultural reality are not the same as when dealing with European, Asian, or even Canadian immigrants.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @TheCredibleHulk @manpanties @Montemalone  

My geography is fine - near is a relative term. Anyway, nowhere in my initial post did I say that Playa del Carmen was "near" the border - that was your word. However in this context and for the purpose of this argument, it kind of is "near the border", relatively speaking, in the same way that Dallas or San Antonio are relatively "near" the Mexican border vis-a-vis the rest of the U.S.A.

Quintana Roo is a border state and shares a small border with Guatemala and there most certainly ARE busy military checkpoints all along Hwy 307 from the border at least as far north as Playa del Carmen and possibly Cancun. At least there were in late 2012..

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @manpanties @Montemalone  

Anyone that's ever vacationed on the Rivera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo and been south of Playa del Carmen on 307 should be familiar with the numerous and extremely busy highway checkpoints that all appear to be manned by heavily armed, oddly humorless teenagers.

ruddski
ruddski

@Daniel

I know black history, I understand WHY we created the welfare state, but it's the HOW that caused the problem.

I posted a link here some time back that referenced the studies that were at the time ignored, the ones that if, were they not ignored, might have led to a far different outcome than we have today.

That's when I called libs of the LBJ day "anti-science.

To oversimplify just one aspect that was pointed out to me by my mother, when this was all coming about. The geniuses paid more if the father moved out. Oh, well-meaning as hell, but also dumb as hell.

Libs of the day didn't set out to create the problem, but libs of today perpetuate the problem by failing to recognize how the problem was created, not to mention the fear of loss of control.

Now, you can read how the same mindset is hindering growth in Africa and how some Africans realize it and want it stopped. Will libs listen? Probably not, they MUST AID THE POOR!!!!

And then move on to how oodles of $70K Toyota Land cruisers driven around Haiti, for instance, by UN muckety-mucks are actually NOT VERY BENEFICIAL to the locals.

Fundamental science of human nature ignored on ideological grounds - the fatal flaw of Patron Saints Marx and Engels, BTW. The anti-science, faith-based left. Good luck!

Daniel
Daniel

@ruddski  

"it's not because they're inferior, it's because good-hearted paternalistic whites treated them as though they were."



It's because of fundamental fault lines in their culture that were created exclusively by slavery (eg., the lack of a strong nuclear family unit)  and an additional 100 years of disenfranchisement under Jim Crow laws. They have indeed been kept down systematically, and yes, welfare represents a course of least resistance for many of them and that's unfortunate in a certain regard, but welfare is in no sense the cause of their underclass-ness. It's a symptom, and insofar as we can weed out fraud, it's only fucking civilized and humane to extend assistance to an underclass we systematically and immorally created. (It's worth noting here, as someone upthread already has, that plenty of white people are on welfare, too.)

 

ruddski
ruddski

@dbdallas. Lot to chew on, I'll address some portion

No, I'm not saying that 40 million blacks are "the underclass". I'm saying that The percentage of blacks that are comparatively "underclass" is statistically sizable, and that percentage is in many, if not most instances, generational. It's the viscous circle.

Given the steadily increasing percentage of black children born into mother-only households, what, exactly do you think will break that cycle?

(BTW, single parenthood is increasing overall, but the black community preceded the trend, and is quite the outlier)

When you start quoting statistics with no comparative statistics, you're not being very analytical. It's no secret that immigrant groups pass blacks by rather quickly. That includes the other underclass - Latinos.

I'm well aware that there are blacks in professions. Several black doctors recently saved my life. I hired and worked with blacks, I am very aware that not all blacks are "the underclass", I'm talking about comparatives, trends, certain concerns that are, incidentally, echoed by many blacks.

Tell me, which group do you expect to become, statistically, America's next underclass? Some group has to be, by definition, underclass, this is not a Lake Wobegon.

You seem hostile to certain undeniable facts that are lamented by blacks on both sides of the political spectrum. Those unafraid to identify real problems are the ones most likely to solve them. Scientifically, it's proven that welfare is an impediment. I'll leave it at that

I will conclude by telling you that for years and years and years, I waited for a black president. Yes, I believe in Dr. King's stirring words and hopes.

But leftist democrats ran a leftist black? Am I supposed to be thrilled because their cynical use of yet another black man will set my and Dr. King's dream back?

Are you at all familiar with Harry Reid's statements, among others, about the suitability of this inexperienced, ideological, untested man who lived as far from the "American black experience" as Prince Charles? It was as transparently racist as any public statement I've seen in recent times.

I see you are a black man by your statements. It is refreshing to see a minority voice in this ordinarily lily-white forum, even if we are on opposite ideological tracks but what I say still stands - any group whose vote is taken for granted loses a competitive edge..

(one thing, could you use more paragraph breaks? It's more reader-friendly to old eyes like mine.)

dingo
dingo

@dballer49  

My single comment regarding blacks reflected on what the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School concluded based upon his survey of the best empirical data available.

An excerpt from his conclusions on the actual data was included in my original post:


"The same type of education/age comparison used to measure the wage impact shows that a 10 percent increase in the size of a skill group reduced the fraction of native-born blacks in that group holding a job by 5.1 percentage points." 


I stand by my original question. Why does the Dallas Observer wish to economically harm a disproportionate number of black US citizens by continually advocated for their extremist open border policy as part of the Democratic war on low wage earners in Texas?

dballer49
dballer49

My original comments should have been directed at dingo where he stated that blacks are the poorest of our society and for ruddski who says blacks are our permanent underclass. .now here are the fallacies in your statements. .first of all when you say " blacks" you are using that term as a collective, in essence you are saying all of the nearly 40 million blacks is America's underclass. ..Really????? Let's talk numbers and not conservative rhetoric. .poverty. .nearly 24% of blacks are at the poverty level..about 10 million more or less which seems a lot but that also means 30 million blacks are not at the poverty level..30 million or 75 % well above the poverty level..that doesn't sound like a underclass to me...you also say blacks ( all 40 million of us) are treated as inferior by paternalistic whites ( that gave me a great laugh)..so the millions of blacks who work everyday as doctors or lawyer or engineers or Postal or nurse and therapist and mechanics and in factories and a whole host of the millions of jobs they work everyday with their white and hispanics and Asian and other ethnic counterparts. .it's the black who are benefitting from the white man paternalism????? ..really. .and you say that blacks need to get involved in the two party system when CNN reported that more blacks voted in the last election than whites (66% vs 64%)..and that sound like a permanent underclass Lmao. .conservative rhetoric at its best..rhetoric for rhetoric sakes doesn't mean anything if the numbers don't support. .your assumption that I would think what you said was racist shows your mindset about blacks. .no you are not a racist you are just uninformed for it is an insult when people say blacks this and blacks that..just saying that shows you don't have a clue about the black community my friend

dballer49
dballer49

@tailsmanthirteen. .my bad that should have been directed at dingo

ruddski
ruddski

@dballer

Google the welfare stats by statistical representation, not raw numbers. Even a DISD grad knows this fundamental.

Blacks are America's permanent underclass, and before you call me racist for pointing out an uncomfortable fact, ask yourself why that is.

Hint: it's not because blacks are inferior, it's because good-hearted paternalistic whites treated them as though they were. When the black community starts to participate in the *two-party* system, rather than the liberal fascism whites paid them to accept, they'll have more leverage.

Ask any black conservative, don't take my white word for this inconvenient truth.

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