MAY 16, 2007
A politically connected “Latino rights” organization that advocates open borders, free college tuition for illegal immigrants and lowered educational standards to accommodate Hispanics is demanding that a federal judge block a Texas voter-approved ordinance that bars landlords from renting to illegal immigrants.
The Los Angeles-based Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has gone to federal court in an effort to stop the measure which was approved this week by a 2-to-1 margin in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch.
The law, scheduled to take effect next week, 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 a fine of up to $500.
The Farmers Branch city council first approved the law last November and at least four separate lawsuits have been filed against the city since. Officials say more than a quarter of a million dollars have been spent on defending the ordinance, favored overwhelmingly by residents.
Farmers Branch is only one of several cities across the nation that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending legal challenges to laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration. Some, such as Escondido California, have even abandoned their own measures to avoid costly litigation.
Local officials claim they created and passed the laws out of frustration that the federal government is not doing its job when it comes to enforcing immigration laws. It has led more than 90 cities and counties nationwide to propose or enact legislation to make up for the negligence.
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