Farmers Branch to Discuss Illegal Immigration

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A city councilman wants to make it tougher for illegal immigrants to live and work in Farmers Branch.

Tim O'Hare blames undocumented immigrants for much of the city's problems. He wants the City Council to consider prohibiting landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants, penalizing businesses that employ undocumented workers, making English the city's official language, ceasing publication of any documents in Spanish and eliminating subsidies for illegal immigrants in the city's youth programs.

Advocates say adopting such an ordinance would be racist. Farmers Branch Mayor Bob Phelps said he fears the city could get sued if the measures O'Hare wants are enacted.

City council members were scheduled to discuss the measures today, but no formal decision would be made at the meeting.

The provisions echo a strict illegal immigration ordinance passed by Hazleton, Pennsylvania last month. Advocates contend its ordinance is discriminatory and unworkable and have sued.