A Texas town wants to ban undocumented immigrants from renting houses
A city in Texas has for years been attempting to ban undocumented immigrants from renting houses but constant legal battles have prevented the town from doing so. And attorneys representing the town tried to make their case in court again this week.
Farmers Branch, a city in Dallas County that holds an estimated population of 29,200, approved an ordinance in 2008 that would require renters to obtain a $5 city license and fill out an application that inquires about their immigration status.
Under the ordinance, building inspectors would also be required to check if applicants are authorized to be in the country and deny those who are not. Landlords that allow undocumented immigrants to rent their houses would also be fined or could lose their renters’ license.
The ordinance never went into effect because it was blocked by a lawsuit brought forward by a group of tenants and landlords. Representing the group were several attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
In 2010, a federal district judge ruled the ordinance was unconstitutional and that it was preempted by federal immigration law. That ruling was upheld in March by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Read more at VOXXI