| July 22
July 22 A federal appeals court on Monday
rejected a Dallas suburb's controversial law that would have
prevented illegal immigrants from renting housing.
In a 9-6 ruling, the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals in New
Orleans upheld a lower-court decision to block the ordinance in
Farmers Branch, Texas, finding that the law interfered with the
federal government's authority over immigration policy.
The law would have required renters in the suburb to
register with the city and obtain an occupancy license. The
city's building inspector would verify an applicant's
immigration status with the federal government, and landlords
who rented to unregistered tenants would face criminal fines or
face losing their rental licenses.
By creating new criminal offenses and allowing state courts
to review a non-citizen's immigration status, the law conflicted
with federal law, a majority of the judges concluded, citing a
recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's immigration laws.
Kris Kobach, a lawyer for Farmers Branch, did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Farmers Branch ordinance is one of numerous state and
local efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. Arizona in
2010 passed its harsh set of immigration laws, which the Obama
administration challenged in court.
The Supreme Court in 2012 upheld the most controversial
aspect of Arizona's immigration overhaul, a requirement that
police officers check the immigration status of the people they
stop. But the court also struck down other provisions of the
law, including a requirement that immigrants carry immigration
papers at all times.
The Texas case is Villas at Parkside Partners et al v. City
of Farmers Branch Texas, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No.
(Reporting by Terry Baynes in New York; Editing by Eric Beech)