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    Inside America’s Largest Illegal Immigrant Enclave | 9.17.23

    enSeptember 17, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • A Texas Shantytown: Colony Ridge's Unregulated Growth and Living ConditionsColony Ridge, a massive, unregulated Texas housing development, is home to tens of thousands of immigrants. Living conditions are substandard, with makeshift homes and a lack of infrastructure, posing health and safety risks.

      Colony Ridge, a sprawling housing development near Plum Grove, Texas, is home to tens of thousands of immigrants, many of whom are suspected to be in the country illegally. The development, which is nearly 60 square miles in size, lacks zoning laws and building standards, resulting in makeshift homes and living conditions that resemble a third world shantytown. The exact population is unknown, but estimates range from 30,000 to over 75,000 people. Daily Wire reporter Spencer Lindquist, who visited the site, described seeing dilapidated trailers, tents, and homes without plumbing or proper addresses. The lack of regulation and infrastructure raises concerns for the health and safety of the residents, as well as the potential strain on local resources. The development is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

    • Large-scale Texas development attracts 200,000 residents with owner-financed loans and Spanish marketingUndocumented immigrants may be drawn to Colony Ridge due to owner-financed loans and Spanish marketing, potentially leading to illegal activity and long-term community implications

      Colony Ridge, a large-scale development in Texas, is attracting a significant number of residents, estimated to be around 200,000, with owner-financed loans and Spanish language marketing. This demographic is suspected to include a high percentage of undocumented immigrants due to the loan structure and targeted marketing. The lack of immigration checks by local law enforcement, including ICE and the Liberty County Sheriff, further adds to the appeal of the area for this population. Interest rates for these loans are significantly higher than market rates, making them an unattractive option for those with proof of income or the ability to secure traditional mortgages. This situation raises concerns about the potential for illegal activity and the long-term implications for the community.

    • Lack of law enforcement presence in Colony Ridge allows criminal activities to go uncheckedThe fear of deportation prevents residents from reporting crimes, enabling criminals, including high-ranking cartel members, to operate freely in Colony Ridge. The lack of ICE presence and potential political contributions or media cover-up contribute to this issue.

      The lack of law enforcement presence in Colony Ridge, Georgia, has allowed criminal activities, including drug and violent crimes, to go unreported and unchecked. Residents, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, are afraid to report crimes due to the fear of deportation. This fear is compounded by the fact that some of the criminals are high-ranking cartel members. The area has seen numerous incidents of crime, including the murder of a 16-year-old girl, a 42-year-old woman, and the killing of five neighbors by an illegal immigrant. Despite this, there is no visible ICE presence in the area. The reason for this lack of enforcement is unclear, but it may be due to political contributions and media cover-up. Colony Ridge is rapidly expanding, and it is led by developer William Trey Harris III, who is a big donor for the Republican Party. The complex web of crime, fear, and politics in Colony Ridge highlights the need for increased law enforcement presence and transparency in dealing with illegal immigration and associated criminal activities.

    • Texas Politicians Received Large Donations from Major Donor Connected to Controversial DevelopmentMajor donor Trey Harris gave over $1M to Texas politicians, including Governor Greg Abbott and Congressman Morgan Luttrell, raising questions about potential influence on their actions related to Colony Ridge development.

      Trey Harris, a major donor to Republican politicians in Texas, has given over $1,000,000 to politicians like Governor Greg Abbott and Congressman Morgan Luttrell, who represent areas near the Colony Ridge development. The connections between Harris' donations and the politicians' actions or responses to issues at Colony Ridge are not clear, but the large donations add to the perception of influence. Harris' wife, Celeste, also donated to Abbott's campaign, and her occupation was listed as Colony Ridge Development. When asked about Colony Ridge, Abbott's office stated they have supported the sheriff's office in Liberty County and upheld the state's ban on sanctuary cities. Luttrell, who also received maximum donations from Harris, said he is working with local officials to address crime and trafficking in the area. Neither politician has commented specifically on the donations or returned them. State Representative Ernest Bales, who represents the district where Colony Ridge is located, received a $1,800 donation from Harris. The full extent of the influence, if any, of these donations on the politicians' actions remains unclear.

    • Elected officials in Liberty County, Texas receive donations from Colony Ridge development entitiesLaw firm, energy company, and pipeline company tied to Colony Ridge development donated to local elected officials, raising concerns about potential cartel involvement and lack of oversight

      There are numerous elected officials receiving significant donations from entities connected to the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County, Texas. The largest donors include a law firm associated with Trey Harris, who pays for lobbying services, an energy company that services the subdivisions, and a pipeline and earthwork company owned by Randy Ellis, who is a cousin of Bales, the sheriff. US Representative Brian Babin, who represents the district where Colony Ridge is located, has been the most vocal about his concerns. He has not received any donations from Trey Harris and has warned about the development's potential connection to cartel activity in the area. In 2013, federal, state, and local law enforcement raided a suspected cartel compound in Liberty County, discovering explosives, marijuana plants, worker buck houses, and guard towers. The development's rapid expansion and the lack of oversight have raised concerns about crime and potential cartel involvement. While it is legal for individuals to loan money and sell land to others regardless of citizenship status in Liberty County, the legality of the development as a whole is a complicated question.

    • Immigrant enclave raises concerns of non-assimilation and potential crime hotbedsLarge immigrant enclaves outside Houston, like Colony Ridge, pose risks due to potential immigration law violations, high-interest land contracts, and lack of assimilation to American principles, creating potential no-go zones and hotbeds for crime.

      Outside Houston, there's a large and established immigrant enclave named Colony Ridge, which has raised concerns over legal land contracts with high interest rates, potential immigration law violations, and allegations of predatory and deceptive tactics. Similar developments are suspected to be replicated in other places, creating ghettos of non-assimilation and hotbeds for crime. J Michael Waller, a senior analyst for strategy with the Center For Security Policy, warns that these pockets of non-assimilation pose significant risks, including the potential for cartels to take advantage of the situation and turn these areas into no-go zones. The impact on neighboring communities, such as Plum Grove, has been devastating. Beyond the immigration issues, the biggest concern is the lack of understanding and adherence to American founding principles and way of life among the residents, which could lead to long-term societal and security challenges.

    • Strain on Plum Grove's Infrastructure and Schools due to DevelopmentPlum Grove's rapid development has led to overcrowded schools and a need for $300M in bonds, along with $7,000 annual stipends for bilingual teachers due to non-English speakers. Lawmakers need to create awareness through a public hearing to address these issues.

      The development of Colony Ridge in Plum Grove, Texas, a small town with under 1,500 residents, has led to significant infrastructure strain and overcrowded schools. The Cleveland Independent School District has seen over 100 new enrollments every month, resulting in a need for $300,000,000 in bonds to finance new schools and expansions. The sudden influx of non-English speakers has also forced the district to offer $7,000 annual stipends to bilingual teachers. However, there is currently a lack of action from lawmakers to address these issues. Daily Wire reporter Spencer Lindquist suggests the first step is to create public awareness, which can be achieved through a public hearing in Congress with witnesses from federal, state, and local levels. By bringing attention to this issue, lawmakers can take action to alleviate the strain on Plum Grove's infrastructure and schools.

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