Hispanic leaders set Farmers Branch boycott over rental ban

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM

FARMERS BRANCH — Hispanic leaders in Farmers Branch met with the mayor on Wednesday hoping for a change of course. They are unhappy with the city's recent decision to file another appeal after an appellate court struck down a city ordinance.

"We're tired of illegal immigrants being harassed, being racially profiled, and it's turning into a hate issue," said Victor Quezada.

The 2008 ordinance required renters to obtain city licenses, and would give the city the right to deny licenses to anyone found to be in the United States illegally.

Carlos Quintanilla said the city has already spent millions in legal costs to fight it.

"We tried to express to the mayor that spending another million dollars in taxpayer money sends a wrong message," he said.

Farmers Branch Mayor Bill Glancy felt the meeting went well, but said he will not ask the Town Council to reconsider its decision to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"If you ask me if I would've done it from the start like that, probably not," the mayor said. "I think you take up the cards and you have to play with the ones you have and try to make the best of it."

A fight waged in court is now being waged in the city as the Hispanic group plans a one-day boycott.

"We have to defend our community," Quintanilla said. "We have to send a message to the city of Farmers Branch."

On September 13, residents are asked not to work, not to shop at stores, and not to send their kids to school that day.

"I told them I don't take threats... I mean... I don't react to that kind of thing," Mayor Glancy said. "It's sad they want to encourage people to keep their children out of school for that purpose; that's not the way to do this thing."

The mayor stressed this is not a race issue, but rather an issue of law.

Farmers Branch has until late October to file an appeal with the country's highest court.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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