Majority Latino South Texas Town Abolishes Decades-old Segregation

EDCOUCH, Texas

A South Texas town has abolished an anti-Hispanic segregation law more than seven decades after it was enacted.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously voted Monday to abolish an ordinance that banned “Spanish or Mexican” residents who were not servants or maids from occupying “any building on the American side or portion” of the once-divided town of Edcouch.

“We should have gotten rid of it a long time ago,” Alderman Rojelio Garcia said.

When the rule was enacted Dec. 9, 1931, a virtual line was drawn through the center of the city. The ordinance prescribed a fine of up to $100 U.S. for violators.

“It was discriminatory,” Mayor Jose Guzman said. “At the time, our city leaders didn’t believe in equal rights.”

Now, the town is majority Hispanic and the segregation line no longer exists. The 2000 Census found more than 97 percent of Edcouch’s population was Latino.

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