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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Economy > One Home Owners Association checking legal status before allowing new residents in neighborhood

One Home Owners Association checking legal status before allowing new residents in neighborhood

(Update follows post)
LatinaLista — In the latest example of how immigration enforcement has run amok, there comes a story out of the Dallas area where the home owner’s association (HOA) of a trailer park has taken it upon itself to decide who gets to live in their community.
Though HOAs are traditionally known for keeping the aesthetics of a neighborhood in check — no junky cars in the driveway, or yards overgrown with weeds, or undone exterior home repairs, etc. — some HOAs have overstepped their authority to the point that they treat homeowners as if they were renters in the amount of control they want to exert over a community.
They even go so far as fining, and in some cases, foreclosing on homes of people who get behind in their HOA dues.
Yet, to date, no HOA has been known to review the legal status of residents.
At one trailer park in a suburb of Dallas, a HOA has said that they are making sure only legal immigrants are moving into their trailer park. It doesn’t matter if contracts have been signed between the mortgage company and the buyer or how much money the buyer has put down — if the HOA finds that the buyer isn’t a legal resident — and they would have to determine that through an ID check — then they won’t allow them to live there.
One buyer, who bought his trailer and is supposedly not a legal resident, is suffering at the hands of this HOA already. The HOA has refused to have the new buyer’s water or electricity turned on.
Spokespeople for the HOA, who appear to be residents of the community, say they are not discriminating — claiming it’s not based on race, ethnicity or gender — because, as they know, that would be a violation of state and federal housing laws.
Yet, according to them, they are within their rights to deny residency based on citizenship status.
However, non-Hispanic residents of the trailer park are upset with the HOA members accusing them of racially profiling since none of them had their citizenship status questioned.
(This is a developing story and as soon as video is made available it will be posted.)
Update: A link to the story can be found here.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video.

 

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Comment(16)

  • cookie
    September 19, 2009 at 8:25 am

    In case you didn’t know it any community owned neighborhood such as a trailer park or a condominium complex have certain rules and regulations and potential buyers are supposed to stop by the office and get the necessary paperwork to determine if they qualify to live there (such as a 55 and older community) to buy in there before they secure loans to purchase a property in there.

  • Indiana Bob
    September 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Yo Cookie,
    The Supreme Court disagrees with you. The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under the laws, and grants the bill of rights to all persons, including the 5th Amendment, which prevents individuals from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law.”
    In Plyler v. Doe the court stated in dicta that illegal immigrants are “within the jurisdiction” of the states in which they reside and added in a footnote that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”
    So this falls under Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits housing discrimination.
    So basically the housing authority is breaking the law.
    What you would need to do is amend the constitution to specifically deny Undocumented Immigrants 14th Amendment protections. All you need to do is get 2/3 of both houses of Congress vote to propose an amendment, or get 2/3 of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments. Then to ratify it would be the simple task of getting 3/4 of the state legislatures approve it
    Or maybe you could get Phyler v Doe overturned.
    Good luck with that.

  • Liquidmicro
    September 20, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Yo Bob,
    Maybe you should do some serious learning. “Illegal Aliens” (Entry Violators and Visa Violators) have NO Rights granted to them by our Constitution, unless they are charged with an infamous crime, which then the 5th Amendment you refer to is actually granted them by the UN Constitution of Human Rights and not our US Constitution.
    You need to learn the difference between Civil Liberties (granted by the US Constitution) and Civil Rights (based on certain legally-protected characteristics of Civil Law). Your usage of the Bill of Rights is incorrect as you have used it for Civil Rights and Not Civil Liberties.
    It is important to note the difference between “civil rights” and “civil liberties.” The legal area known as “civil rights” has traditionally revolved around the basic right to be free from unequal treatment based on certain protected characteristics (race, gender, disability, etc.) in settings such as employment and housing. “Civil liberties” concern basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed — either explicitly identified in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, or interpreted through the years by courts and lawmakers. Civil liberties include:
    * Freedom of speech
    * The right to privacy
    * The right to be free from unreasonable searches of your home
    * The right to a fair court trial
    * The right to marry
    * The right to vote
    One way to consider the difference between “civil rights” and “civil liberties” is to look at 1) what right is affected, and 2) whose right is affected. For example, as an employee, you do not have the legal right to a promotion, mainly because getting a promotion is not a guaranteed “civil liberty.” But, as a female employee you do have the legal right to be free from discrimination in being considered for that promotion — you cannot legally be denied the promotion based on your gender (or race, or disability, etc.). By choosing not to promote a female worker solely because of the employee’s gender, the employer has committed a civil rights violation and has engaged in unlawful employment discrimination based on sex or gender.
    If you would like I can point out case laws in which prove “Illegal Aliens” (Entry Violators and Visa Violators) have NO legality in Civil Liberties and have limited Civil Rights (Plyler v. Doe, a mandated Federal Law and not a Constitutional Right). This is also the situation with the Baucus Health Care Bill in which Health Insurance is going to be mandated in purchasing by each and every person living within the US Borders.
    Here is a recent case that you are probably aware of: Jury: Barnett didn’t violate illegal immigrants’ rights.
    The outcome of the case: A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn’t violate the civil liberties of a group of illegal immigrants who claimed that he detained them at gunpoint in 2004.
    The eight-member civil jury also found Roger Barnett wasn’t liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.
    But the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages – $60,000 of which were punitive.
    Barnett declined to comment afterward, but one of his attorneys, David Hardy, said the plaintiffs lost on the bulk of their claims and that Barnett has a good basis for appeal on the two counts on which he lost.
    Now, as for HOA’s, they are PRIVATE COMMUNITIES upon PRIVATE LAND and can make up any rules they so desire, to include or exclude whom they wish, basically like a private club.

  • Liquidmicro
    September 20, 2009 at 11:28 am

    One more thing, Yo Bob, read the update Marisa has posted, you will find this nugget at the bottom of the story: However, Campbell said the Fair Housing Act does not apply to immigration status. So excluding people who are not in the country legally would be allowed as long as all potential buyers are questioned.

  • Marvin
    September 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    “In Plyler v. Doe the court stated in dicta that illegal immigrants are “within the jurisdiction” of the states in which they reside and added in a footnote that “no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”
    So this falls under Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits housing discrimination.”
    Plyler v. Doe was an irrational decision on the part of SCOTUS. It essentially forced the people of the U.S. to pay for the education of foreigners who weren’t even entitled to be in the country. The SCOTUS felt sorry for illegal alien children, so they thought they’d help them out, but they really had no authority to do so. Education is not a civil right, and SCOTUS admitted that, but they made their judgment based upon the presumption that they had the authority to make determinations of social engineering. Logically, why should we be paying for the education of peoples who aren’t included in our Constitution? Our Constitution says in its preamble,
    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    The Founding Fathers evidently never meant for the Constitution to apply to promoting the welfare and securing the blessings of liberty for anyone other than those who were citizens.
    If your argument that the 14th Amendment applies in the case of education, then why can we deny illegal aliens the right to driver’s licenses, or any other benefit, like welfare, if we should so choose? The 14th Amendment was about federal due process; that everyone should be treated with the same way in our court system. As I said before, there is not right to be given a free education in this country. It had nothing to do with benefits accrued to citizens. The SCOTUS ruling was an injustice to the American people who should not be forced to encourage illegal immigration by educating illegal aliens.

  • Che
    September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    You are so right Marvin.
    Here is the main point when CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER, JUSTICE WHITE, JUSTICE REHNQUIST, and JUSTICE O’CONNOR states dissenting the decision of SCOTUS.
    “Denying a free education to illegal alien children is not a choice I would make were I a legislator. Apart from compassionate considerations, the long-range costs of excluding any children from the public schools may well outweigh the costs of educating them. But that is not the issue; the fact that there are sound policy arguments against the Texas Legislature’s choice does not render that choice an unconstitutional one…..”
    *emphasis on: does not render that choice (denying free education to illegal alien children) an unconstitutional one…

  • Indiana Bob
    September 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Liquidmicro :
    Nope, not correct.
    The bill of rights makes no distinction between those here legally or not. Furthermore, Phyler v Doe actually bolstered that argument by ruling that all persons, documented or not, have equal protection under our laws via the 14th Amendment. That amendment specifically says “persons” and not “citizens” even though they define what a citizen is (born or naturalized in the US).
    The constitution specifically mentions citizenship in some parts, like the presidential qualifications. The 15th amendment guarantees the rights of citizens to vote, which is why non-citizens can’t vote.
    So you are going to have to argue, in Dred Scott fashion, that immigrants are not people.
    Good luck with that.

  • Indiana Bob
    September 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Yo Marvin:
    Where does it specifically refer to “citizens” in the preamble? I can tell you why the founding fathers made no distinction, because they themselves were immigrants!
    Citizenship was not defined until the 14th Amendment. Everything before was in terms of “persons” or “people”. The qualifications for running for president only cited that one be born here and be 35 years of age (I was wrong about what I wrote above, it does not mention “citizens”).
    The public education argument in Phyler v Doe was not arguing that Public Education was a right, but that you couldn’t deny it to anyone the same way you could not let an illegal immigrant walk on a sidewalk. The right to and education is certainly implied, but ever since the 1870s, it has been a de-facto right. Driving a car is not a right, it is a privilege. That is the difference.
    Now it is true that you can deny “people” constitutional rights. It happens all the time. Cities can say that they will not hire midgets to be police officers. Is that violating the rights of a midget. Yes, but cities can argue that there is a “compelling government interest” in making sure police officers have the physical ability to do a dangerous job.
    You anti-immigrant folks should take that tactic and see if it get’s you anywhere, but because of Phyler, then probably the principle of Stare Decisis will apply to related immigrant denying petitioners.
    just sayin’

  • Indiana Bob
    September 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Yo Che,
    You are correctly identifying the arguments against Phyler, but I may as well point out these were Dissenting arguments.
    So y’all lost this one, deal with it.

  • Liquidmicro
    September 23, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Yo Bob, The preamble states the following:
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    I bolded the specific part that states the Constitution and Bill of Rights are for Citizens only. LPR’s are allowed limited Civil Liberties and are not granted full Liberties until they become citizens. I also suggest you specify a case in which Illegal Immigrants have been granted Civil Liberties of any sort. So far you have given nothing.
    Now, if Illegal Immigrants were/or have the same rights as all Citizens do, then they would be treated the same by congress and all of our laws, wouldn’t they? You really need to retake your civics lessons because you have NO IDEA of which you are talking about.
    Cite 1 case that makes your point, Plyler v. Doe was not it.

  • Liquidmicro
    September 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Now, here are the findings of Plyler v. Doe.
    Plyler v. Doe
    This is a class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in September 1977, on behalf of certain school-age children of Mexican origin residing in Smith County, Tex.
    Persuasive arguments support the view that a State may withhold its beneficience from those whose very presence within the United States is the product of their own unlawful conduct. These arguments do not apply with the same force to classifications imposing disabilities on the minor children of such illegal entrants. At the least, those who elect to enter our territory by stealth and in violation of our law should be prepared to bear the consequences, including, but not limited to, deportation. But the children of those illegal entrants are not comparably situated. Their “parents have the ability to conform their conduct to societal norms,” and presumably the ability to remove themselves from the State’s jurisdiction; but the children who are plaintiffs in these cases “can affect neither their parents’ conduct nor their own status.” Even if the State found it expedient to control the conduct of adults by acting against their children, legislation directing the onus of a parent’s misconduct against his children does not comport with fundamental conceptions of justice.
    “[Visiting] . . . condemnation on the head of an infant is illogical and unjust. Moreover, imposing disabilities on the . . . child is contrary to the basic concept of our system that legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility or wrongdoing. Obviously, no child is responsible for his birth and penalizing the . . . child is an ineffectual — as well as unjust — way of deterring the parent.”
    Of course, undocumented status is not irrelevant to any proper legislative goal. Nor is undocumented status an absolutely immutable characteristic since it is the product of conscious, indeed unlawful, action. But § 21.031 is directed against children, and imposes its discriminatory burden on the basis of a legal characteristic over which children can have little control. It is thus difficult to conceive of a rational justification for penalizing these children for their presence within the United States. Yet that appears to be precisely the effect of § 21.031.
    The 14th as used, wasn’t about the “Illegal Immigrants”, it was used as a State action for Children against the State of Texas.
    So, now you can see the 14th doesn’t apply to “Illegal Immigrants” who are present here without authorization.
    You must learn to comprehend what is being stated before you make assumptions as you have. I suggest doing some major research through actual law vs what you think you are finding on the net in others opinion pieces and blogs. So far you seem to be an internet jockey with a losing horse.

  • Doris
    September 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    “Citizenship was not defined until the 14th Amendment.”
    Yo, Bob, if citizenship wasn’t a concern of congress, the why is this in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, under Legislative Branch, Powers of Congress. This was in the original Constitution of 1787, long before the 14th Amendment was enacted. Sort of makes your argument foolish, doesn’t it? Apparently Congress wanted some kind of control over immigration.
    Article 1, Section 8: “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States”

  • Denise
    September 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Why shouldn’t citizens have the right to exclude persons confirmed to be illegal aliens from their community? Americans have already established laws to deport them, so it’s already policy to exclude them. Communities have laws preventing convicted child molesters from living near schools, so I ask again, why should illegal aliens have a right to rent or buy a house in this country.

  • Marisa Treviño
    September 25, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Because the fact is these people are not criminals. They are not classified as criminals under our judicial system and to equate them to child molesters is a far reach. Undocumented immigrants pay their bills and had the money to buy the trailers. This is more like the HOA saying that blacks or Native Americans can’t live in their trailer park.

  • Geraldine
    September 25, 2009 at 10:59 am

    “Undocumented immigrants pay their bills and had the money to buy the trailers. This is more like the HOA saying that blacks or Native Americans can’t live in their trailer park.”
    But paying bills and buying trailers is not a qualification for citizenship under our laws. Black citizens and Native Americans do qualify to stay in thei country, so it wouldn’t be proper to deny them housing, so I don’t understand the comparison. To me, granting undocumented immigrants the right to live in my neighborhood is aiding a abetting their wrong doing. Clear this one up. Would it be wrong of me to report someone I knew was an undocumented immigrant to ICE?

  • Jason
    September 30, 2009 at 11:26 am

    “”Undocumented immigrants pay their bills and had the money to buy the trailers.”
    Is it rational that persons who entered without inspection and thus became illegal aliens upon doing so, be permitted to occupy a permanent residence, let alone buy a house? After all, it’s our policy to deport foreign squatters, so it is self-defeating if we provide them with the means to establish themselves here. Is it morally correct on the part of the seller to sell someone a home if the purchaser is subject to deportation without notice? Should banks whose depositers funds are backed by the FDIC and FLSIC (a quasi governmental agency) be permitted to take risks with the money they hold and give loans to such people? Banks have lost money on homes due mortgage defaults caused by the deportation of illegal aliens. It is obvious to me that legal residency or citizenship should be a qualification for a loan.

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