5th Circuit: Immigration Law Complicates Relations With Mexico
MARCH 26, 2012
Check out what a federal appellate court just determined when striking down a Texas town’s law banning illegal aliens from renting housing; the “unconstitutional” measure has no other purpose than the exclusion of illegal aliens, which complicates immigration issues and relations with other countries, particularly Mexico.
It may seem unbelievable, but read the ruling for yourself. It was issued recently by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against the Dallas suburb of Farmers Ranch. A three-judge panel from the New Orleans-based court further clarified that the “sole purpose” of an ordinance banning illegal immigrants from renting housing is to “exclude undocumented aliens, specifically Latinos.”
The court also injected a lecture on the positive contributions of Latino’s in the United States. “This country has a large Latino population and millions of Latinos live here without legal permission,” according to the ruling. “However, the great majority live quietly, raise families, obey the law daily, and do work for our country. For all that they contribute to our welfare, they live in constant dread of being apprehended as [undocumented immigrants] and being evicted, perhaps having their families disrupted. As unsatisfactory as this situation is it is the immigration scheme we have today…”
The ruling marks the latest of many defeats for local measures seeking to curb an illegal immigration crisis that’s draining municipalities across the nation as the feds sit idly by. In this case Farmers Branch has spent about $5 million to defend a law—passed by elected officials and endorsed by voters—requiring renters to obtain a city license after proving legal status in the U.S.
Leftist civil rights and open borders groups challenged the measure in court and in 2008 a Clinton-appointed judge (Sam A. Lindsay) ruled that the ban on rentals to illegal immigrants is unconstitutional because only the federal government can regulate immigration. That, in turn, allows the federal government to pre-empt local laws, according to the judge.
Farmers Branch appealed and last week the Fifth Circuit upheld Lindsay’s decision though the three-judge panel took it a step further by also saying the ordinance, not only presents an obstacle to federal authority on immigration but also the “conduct of foreign affairs.” By forcing noncitizens to relocate, the town’s law regulates immigration across and outside of its borders, the court wrote.
The law also imposes additional ordinances on aliens not contemplated by Congress, the judges said. “For example, the ordinance requires illegal aliens to declare themselves to the city building inspector, denies them the ability to enter into private contracts for shelter, and subjects them to criminal sanctions, all in an effort to exclude them from the city. “ Farmers Branch officials are contemplating appealing to the U.S. Supreme court.
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