Suburbs become more diverse, as 4 in 10 immigrants move straight into the burbs

October 17th, 2007 · 7 Comments

American suburbs have started to absorb more immigrants, as approximately 40% of new immigrants move into the burbs from their countries of origin. I also recently found this article about the effort to control home colors in a Dallas suburb. In Latin America, it is not unusual to find brightly colored homes and buildings, but that often doesn’t mesh well with the sterile vanilla style of American suburbia (at least the kind of suburbia that has cropped up in recent decades where all of the homes look exactly like the next). Factored into this, I can see the desire to keep home colors regulated to a certain extent to preserve historical districts and property values. Nobody likes living next to an eyesore, but one person’s pretty could be the next man’s ugly, so there’s a level of subjectivity with regard to color preferences.

In the article about home colors, I learned that the city council of Farmers Branch, Texas has required apartment managers to verify the immigration status of all renters. In essence, the apartment managers are being asked to perform an ICE function without the pay and are subject to $500 per day fines for violations of this ordinance. This week California became the first state in the nation to prohibit landlords from inquiring about the immigration status of its citizens. I don’t think that landlords or apartment managers should be verifying immigration status without being trained in how to do so or without the funding to take on such an effort. It seems like a big bureaucratic undertaking, in addition to the issue of potential legal tenants being harassed and profiled out of a rental property because they might “look” like they are illegal.

Tags: Immigration · Uncategorized

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Frank // Oct 17, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    American homes are not “vanilla”. In most neighborhoods you will find homes painted blue, yellow, green, etc. We usually don’t go for the extreme eye blinding shades of these colors thats all. Again where you use the word “immigrant” you know darn well you are talking about illegal aliens. There is a difference you know.

    As for landlords asking for immigration status, I am kind of neutral on that but it would help deter illegal immigration. How does one look illegal? Its about proper papers, not looks. What a stretch of imagination was used with that remark!

  • 2 webmaster // Oct 17, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Ok, in some regards you are right Frank. In certain parts of the country, little pink houses (like John Mellencamp sings about) are perfectly the norm. In most recent subdevelopments, especially in CA, AZ, and even Texas, everything looks the same.

    When I cited the articles above, I was not referring to illegal immigrants. The NY Times article was referring to the Census Bureau’s annual study of where immigrants move to in America.

    If you think that people aren’t being deporting for “looking” like an illegal immigrant, then maybe you never heard of this case:

  • 3 Latino Pundit // Oct 17, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Last month, I met a professor who is touring America to document the immigrant experience. From what he said is that small town LOVE immigrants, who keep those mom and pop shops going, when the kids leave town in search of the big dream.

    We can see this in the news by smaller towns revamping their premature laws against immigrants (a housing law comes into mind that didn’t allow certain family members to far down the chain from living there), when they realized that their town would go defunct once they started to leave.

    Can’t believe everything you read.

  • 4 Frank // Oct 18, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Webmaster, the Census counts everyone living in the U.S. it doesn’t get into immigration status. So illegal aliens are counted in the mix.

    I remember the case in that article. He was mentally retarded and told law enforcement that he was from Mexico.
    So he was deported. It all got straigtened out in the end, mistakes do occur. But to suggest that this happens all the time based on someone’s skin color or ethnicity is ridiculous. He didn’t “look illegal”, he was deported based on what he said. Nice try though.

    Latino, a town thriving on legal immigrant labor is one thing but for a town to stay afloat due to illegal immigrant labor is not moral or lawful. That isn’t what this country is about. They are no real American town if they are circumventing our labor and immigration laws.

  • 5 webmaster // Oct 18, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Frank, Mr. Guzman told the authorities when he was jailed that he was born in California. Check out this story from the Associated Press:

    Wrongfully deported man ate from trash cans, bathed in rivers
    U.S. citizen sent to Mexico after trespassing arrest in May.
    The Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES A wrongly deported U.S. citizen who was missing nearly three months in Mexico ate out of garbage cans, bathed in rivers and was repeatedly turned away by U.S. border agents when he tried to return to California, his family said Tuesday.

    Pedro Guzman, 29, was picked up at the Calexico border crossing over the weekend and released to his family on Tuesday.

    Guzman was shaking, stuttering and appeared traumatized, his family said at a news conference. The family said it planned to seek medical attention for Guzman, who was not at the news conference.

    “They took him whole, but only returned half of him to me,” his mother, Maria Carbajal, said in Spanish while crying. “The government is responsible for this.”

    The family had been searching for Guzman in Tijuana since he was deported May 11.

    They said Guzman told them Tuesday that he had tried to return to the United States several times, but was turned away. He walked over 100 miles to Calexico, the family said.

    “The border guards told him to ‘stop playing around,’ said Michael Guzman, the man’s brother.

    Authorities and the family have presented conflicting versions of how Guzman was deported.

    He served about 20 days of a 120-day jail term for a misdemeanor trespassing violation when he was deported to Mexico, according to authorities. Immigration and sheriff’s officials have said Guzman told them he was an illegal immigrant, and gave media voluntary deportation papers allegedly signed by Guzman.

    The family said Guzman was mentally disabled – a claim the government has contested – and was possibly confused by the paperwork.

    Guzman’s relatives sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in federal court in June, claiming Guzman was American and had been wrongfully deported.

    The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit, has said it has a copy of Guzman’s birth certificate showing he was born at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

    In the lawsuit, the family said he was asked about his immigration status in jail and responded that he was born in California.

    Sometime after that, the Sheriff’s Department identified him as a non-citizen, obtained his signature for voluntary removal from the United States and turned him over to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement for deportation.

    Guzman was picked up in Calexico after U.S. authorities, doing a background ch5eck, found there was a warrant for his arrest for failing to attend probation hearings related to the misdemeanor violation, said Mark Rosenbaum, ACLU legal director for Southern California.

    The family said Guzman had previously done jail time for drug possession, so he had a record that could have been cross-checked before a deportation decision was made.

    Immigration and sheriff’s officials said they followed all the necessary protocol and have done nothing wrong.

    “The government deported him because of his skin color,” said Rosenbaum. “Imagine if this had happened to someone with white skin.”

    Guzman’s parents are from Mexico,but seven children, including Pedro, were born in California, according to the family.

    Lori Haley, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, declined comment, citing pending litigation.

    Soon after he was deported, Guzman’s family said he contacted them by phone to tell them what happened, but couldn’t say exactly where he was. After that they lost touch with him.

  • 6 Frank // Oct 18, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    So it is law enforcement’s version of the story vs Guzmans. Why didn’t he have I.D. with him when he was caught? And I am not talking about his birth certificate because most people don’t carry that with them.

    Regardless of what did or didn’t happen, for anyone to claim he was deported because of his skin color is just plain nuts. Get back with me when this becomes rampant in our country, ok?

  • 7 Daniel // Oct 29, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Suburbs become more diverse, as 4 in 10 immigrants move straight into the burbs, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

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