ACLU Wins Immigration Case In Texas

Texas is a big place, and a lot of people here are more immigrant-friendly than the people of Farmers Branch, TX, whose anti-immigrant law was ruled unconstitutional by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. America is also a big place, and such local laws as the one in Farmers Branch are more frequent than you might think:

Yesterday the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the Farmers Branch, Texas, anti-immigrant ordinance unconstitutional. The decision, which came in a suit brought by the ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, is the latest in a long line of suspensions, withdrawals, and invalidations of “self-deportation” laws, including ordinances in Hazleton, Pa.; Escondido, Calif. and Riverside, N.J., and key aspects of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and similar state laws in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, and Indiana.

Economic hard times probably account for some of the increase in anti-immigrant sentiment. But I’ve seen some of the work immigrant farm workers do, and I’d have to be awfully hungry to do such work myself. And frankly, the undocumented immigrants I’ve run across off and on over the years overwhelmingly behave themselves, pay their taxes and supply services most Americans are not interested in providing.

The worst about these local laws (apart from the fact that local governments simply don’t have the constitutional authority to make laws about immigration) is that they exist because of a more general prejudice against people of color. Ask any Hispanic American citizen when they were last stopped by police and asked to prove their citizenship… many of them have such a story to tell.

This is absurd. Almost all of us (except American Indians) have ancestors who immigrated here, for whatever reason, within recorded history. How American citizens can justify an attitude toward would-be or actual immigrants now of “I’ve got mine; forget about you” is quite beyond me. Any shortages in America… of goods, cash, food, whatever… are due to laws that favor the obscenely wealthy to the detriment of literally everyone else. Immigrants, legal or undocumented, are simply not to blame.

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