IMMIGRATION ISSUE CONTINUES TO DIVIDE TOWNS
The battle over how to deal with illegal/undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America, continues to be fought city by city as the federal government and Congress are not showing leadership one way or the other.
You may remember last July when the Avon Park City Council voted down a proposed ordinance championed by then-mayor Tom Macklin which would have 1) made English the town's official language and the only language in which city business would be conducted, 2) fined landlords $1,000 for knowingly renting to illegal or undocumented immigrants, and 3) revoking the city licenses of any business knowingly hiring illegal/undocumented immigrants. Macklin went on to become the lieutenant governor running mate of St. Petersburg Certified Financial Planner Max Linn last fall on the Reform Party ticket, and following the election co-founded the American Party of Florida.
Over the past few weeks the battleground has switched from Florida to the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch, Texas. As in Avon Park, this city of 30,000 was bitterly divided when the City Council approved an ordinance in November which would prohibit landlords from renting to illegal/undocumented aliens. The council revised the law in January to include exceptions for minors, senior citizens, and families with a mix of legal and illegal residents, but opponents were able to gain enough signatures to have the measure placed on the municipal election ballot for Saturday.
Information from the Dallas County Elections Office show that the ordinance passed with a 67.6 percent majority, with more votes cast through early voting than at the precients Saturday.
The city had previously passed an ordinance making English it's official language.