Sunday, June 8, 2014

Farmers Branch Waves a $7.5 Million White Flag. At Least the Flag Is White, Amiright?

Earlier this week, the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch quietly settled its years-long legal battle to enforce an unconstitutional rental ordinance and ended its efforts to turn the quiet community into a place where white people get to tell everyone what to do.

Let's continue to leave "intolerant and bigoted"
off the list, thank you very much.
By paying out $1.4 million to plaintiffs, Farmers Branch finally abandons the anti-immigrant fight with a tab of  $7.5 million in tax dollars. That's nearly a million dollars a year since this nonsense began in 2006. For a town of fewer than 30,000 people, that's not exactly chump change.

I'm not going to rehash the entire history of my former hometown's efforts to require de facto citizenship papers to live within its borders and turn property owners into undeputized immigration officers. I've written about the saga in this space before. You can Google "Farmers Branch rental ordinance" and get dozens of results that tell the story.

"Farmers Branch: Our past, present, future are white."
I just want to make a few final observations before this chapter of Farmers Branch history closes for what I hope is forever:

First, I find it curious that I've been unable to find any published figures for the number of undocumented immigrants who actually live in Farmers Branch. I realize that those numbers are hard to come by for any municipality; after all, people who are in this country illegally are unlikely to stand up to be counted. But I can't find even an estimate of how many people the city of Farmers Branch was trying to eliminate through its efforts. I mean, you'd think at some point former Mayor Tim O'Hare or any of his hate-mongering supporters would have said, "There are X nasty brown people in our fair city, and we aim to drive them out by fair means or foul."

"Look, an eagle! These guys must be loyal Americans!"
- Farmers Branch politicians, probably

But although I haven't been able to uncover such a thing, it's not difficult to construct a ballpark guesstimate. There are 26 million people in Texas. According to federal statistics, about 1.6 million of them are undocumented immigrants (or "illegal aliens," if you prefer to think of them as criminals, possibly sporting tentacles). That means approximately 6 percent of the state population is undocumented. Let's assume these people are distributed equally across the state - which is a big assumption, and probably not entirely accurate, but on the other hand, there's no reason to believe Farmers Branch has a disproportionately large concentration of these folks, either.

Aliens with tentacles, on the other hand...

The population of Farmers Branch is about 29,000. Six percent of that number is a little over 1740. Should there be that many people living illegally in this suburban community? Maybe not. The number in and of itself is fairly meaningless. I just find it very interesting that it hasn't been part of the public debate over the city's anti-immigrant ordinances. Any military commander can tell you that the first step in any defensive strategy is knowing your enemy's numbers.

Like, say, Hitler.

Dig this: According to the City of Farmers Branch 2013-2014 budget, the number one priority of the local police department is "to decrease the number of criminal illegal aliens in the community." Not to decrease crime itself, or even to decrease the number of criminals overall, but to specifically target and systematically kick out a subset of a subset of a subset of the city's population. Which is a good and important fight, because the number of "criminal illegal aliens" that are arrested and convicted in Farmers Branch annually is...

Well, that information is even more difficult to get than a simple population figure, as it turns out. One might conclude that the number is higher than anyone in the city government is capable of counting to.

Five! Five undesirable brown toes! Ah-ah-ah.

So let's go at it from another angle. In 2013, 1,121 crimes were committed in Farmers Branch, of which the overwhelming majority were non-violent property crimes. That makes it one of the safest towns in Texas, by the way. Let's say that every one of those crimes was committed by a different undocumented alien who lived in Farmers Branch and was acting alone. Because criminals are never citizens, never cross town lines to do illegal things, and never work in groups. So that makes perfect sense. And in that case, the town certainly would be justified in enacting laws and ordinances to get them out of town.

Over the last eight years, they've spent $7.5 million attempting to do just that - an average of $937,500 per year to crack down on less than 4% of the population, assuming that 1) every single crime in Farmers Branch was committed by an illegal alien, 2) no criminal ever committed more than one crime, and 3) the criminals they drove out of town never returned.

Your election materials are in English only?
Well, I'll be doing my criming in a more welcoming
jurisdiction, thanks.

Anyway, all of this is moot, since the Supreme Court decided that Farmers Branch had absolutely no Constitutional right to usurp a variety of state and federal laws that it didn't agree with, and Farmers Branch has finally decided to stop spending public funds on saying "nuh-UH." There's really no point in bringing up statistics like these to show that even small, innocuous towns can promote institutional bigotry and lawlessness.

And can get away with it for years if no one calls them out.

Achtung, baby.


  1. I actually prefer your serious articles lime this one.

    One thing that seldom gets mentioned in immigration debates, even here (yes, India has an illegal immigrant problem, particularly from Bangladesh) is, why do the immigrants come? Isn't it because they do work cheaper than the locals will? And isn't the solution - if there is to be one - to make the process of *legal* immigration easier and more transparent?

    But here, as there, that won't get politicians votes.

  2. Among other things it sounds like the police force is trying to justify its own existence, or at least justify its budget. I realize that's only a very small part of it, but I wonder how much the Farmers Branch PD spends annually on weapons and equipment, not to mention salaries. Playing on irrational fears is a good way to keep the money coming in.


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