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Farmers Branch Immigration Ordinance Implementation Halted By Judge

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Farmers Branch, Texas, had its ordinance fining landlords for renting to illegal aliens halted by a temporary restraining order issued by a Federal judge. The city was planning on putting the ordinance into effect May 22, 2007. US District Judge Sam Lindsay said that the ordinance conflicts with federal law. A Clinton appointed judge, just like in Hazleton.

Judge Sam Lindsay
Judge Sam Lindsay
This is not a surprise, Hazleton, Pennsylvania had their Illegal Immigration Relief Act put on hold and then that restraining order was extended in order for a court case challenging the ordinance's constitutionality to precede.

The temporary restraining order is for at most 10 days in which time a hearing has to occur to determine whether an injunction will be placed on the ordinance until a trial is held.

Here's a nice little story about the types of rulings that Judge Sam Lindsay makes. Judge Lindsay ordered an injunction against a guy linking to another site claiming it violated copyright fair use.

You can read Judge Lindsay's temporary restraining order against Farmers Branch (PDF 800Kb)

Dallas News

Judge Lindsay, in a 20-page ruling granting a temporary restraining order, said Farmers Branch had wrongly used federal laws governing who receives housing subsidies to write its ordinance and had created its own classification system for determining which noncitizens may rent an apartment in the city.

"The court recognizes that illegal immigration is a major problem in this country, and one who asserts otherwise ignores reality," Judge Lindsay wrote. "The court also fully understands the frustration of cities attempting to address a national problem that the federal government should handle; however, such frustration, no matter how great, cannot serve as a basis to pass an ordinance that conflicts with federal law."

Farmers Branch City Council members criticized the judge for ignoring residents' approval of the ordinance, which would require apartment managers to verify that renters are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants before leasing to them, with some exceptions. Violators face fines of up to $500, and each day would be considered a separate violation.

"I am disappointed that the judge chose to ignore the will of the people," said City Council member Tim O'Hare, who proposed the ordinance. "However, I am hopeful ... the judge will not grant the preliminary injunction and allow us to enforce the ordinance as voted on by two-thirds of our residents."

This case will probably mirror Hazleton, Pennsylvania's which is still awaiting an outcome.

Tipped by: Lonewacko

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Posted by Digger on May 22, 2007 03:46 AM (Permalink)

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