MAY 22, 2007
In siding with a politically connected “Latino rights” group that advocates open borders, a Texas federal judge has blocked a Dallas suburb’s voter-approved law against renting to illegal immigrants.
Approved by Farmers Branch citizens by a 2-to-1 margin, the ordinance requires apartment managers to verify that renters are U.S. citizens or legal residents before leasing to them. Violators would face a misdemeanor charge punishable by $500 and the law was to take effect this week.
But a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas has barred the law’s enforcement because, according to him, only the federal government can determine whether a person is in the United States legally. The judge also said in his 20-page ruling that instead of deferring to federal officials, Farmers Branch created its own classification to determine which non citizens may rent an apartment in the city.
The judge, Sam Lindsay, was appointed to the federal bench in 1998 by Bill Clinton. It was a historic appointment because Lindsay was the first black federal judge in Northern Texas.
The pro illegal immigration group (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) that demanded blocking the Farmers Branch law rejoiced at the ruling, saying that it sends a clear message that other similar anti-immigrant ordinances blocked by courts around the country are an illegal attempt to usurp federal power to regulate immigration.
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