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Judge halts ban on renting to migrants

Sat., Sept. 13, 2008

DALLAS – A federal judge Friday stopped a Dallas suburb’s latest attempt to drive away illegal immigrants, ruling that Farmers Branch cannot enforce a ban on apartment rentals to those who can’t prove they live legally in the country.

U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle’s temporary restraining order stopped an ordinance that had been set to go into effect today. The ordinance was intended to replace a similar measure that was struck down in federal court.

The judge said the ordinance has the potential to cause irreparable injury to landlords who are likely to lose business to neighboring cities that don’t have similar laws.

In addition, she said the criminal penalties imposed on rental property owners who don’t comply could be a “substantial threat” and cause irreparable harm.

In any case, the judge said the ordinance basically decides who can live in the city and poses a “slippery slope” should city officials attempt to override the role of the federal government on immigration matters.


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