Court Upholds Decision to Block Texas Immigrant Housing Law

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A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision to block a law preventing undocumented immigrants from seeking housing in a Dallas, Texas suburb.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Farmers Branch, a city of about 29,000 residents, overstepped its authority when it passed the law in 2008.

The law called on the city’s building inspector to check the immigration status of any would-be renter who wasn’t a U.S. citizen and barred undocumented immigrants from rental housing.

Landlords who knowingly rented to undocumented residents could have their licenses revoked.

The appellate court found the law to be discriminatory since it “excludes” undocumented immigrants, “particularly Latinos, under the guise of policing housing.”

“Because the sole purpose and effect of this ordinance is to target the presence of illegal aliens… and to cause their removal, it contravenes the federal government’s exclusive authority over the regulation of immigration and the conditions of residence in this country,” the court ruling said.

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