Dallas official: ID needed to get water from city

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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DALLAS —

Latino families living in Dallas’ Oak Grove mobile home park say they have been forced to bring in their own water for months.

They claim it is because they are undocumented, and the town requires a U.S. Government ID to get water services.

Alicia Modesto has an attorney and is preparing to file a lawsuit against the city of Dallas. She said the city requires U.S. government issued identification to get water in her home. Since she is not a legally documented resident, she cannot get an ID.

She spoke with Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon using a translator.

“It’s really hot you know, so we need water desperately,” Modesto said.

Modesto has her own business selling antiques. She has a tax ID and pays taxes. She said she also has a passport. She’s had to haul buckets of water to her home since September when her boyfriend, who had a driver’s license, moved out.

“It makes me feel very terrible. I mean there are days that I am very depressed,” Modesto said.

Several Latino families living in the community also have the same problem.

“I think they are segregating the Latino community in general making it very difficult for them to have basic needs,” said advocate Norma Freyre.

Town Manager Jim Palenick said he could not talk on camera because of the pending lawsuit. He told reporter Ken Lemon: “We are in the business of selling water. We are not in the position of setting immigration law.”

He said the rule requiring a license is to make sure applicants are not lying about their identity.

Palenick said they are in negotiations about changes to the ordinance, including allowing applicants to use a government-issued ID from another country.