Families Continue to Suffer from Results of Anti-Immigrant Ordinances

The AP has more on the story of anti-immigrant rhetoric clashing with real people’s lives in Valley Park, Missouri, a small town that has had no problem with immigrants but passed a Hazleton-like ordinance as a “preventative measure”:

An ordinance passed July 17 fines landlords $500 per violation for knowingly renting to illegal immigrants. Many of the families that have left were staying at Cheryl Lane Apartments. Some left so quickly they didn’t take their furniture, apartment owner James Zhang told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Zhang and his apartment manager went door-to-door last week, telling residents that if they weren’t in the country legally, they needed to move out. Of his 48 units, 20 are now empty, said Zhang, noting that the fine is more than the $450 he charges for monthly rent. …

[Mayor Jeffery] Whitteaker said he has received hundreds of calls and e-mails from across the nation, nearly all of them expressing support. “It really gives you a warm feeling to know the whole country is behind you,” he said.

Whitteaker said he was glad to hear illegal immigrants were leaving the city.

Other local ordinances are now being considered in Palm Bay, Florida; Escondido, California; Bridgeport, Pennsylvania; Bogota, New Jersey; Sandwich, Massachusetts; and elsewhere.