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Federal judge blocks California city anti-immigrant ordinance

[JURIST] US District Judge John Houston Thursday temporarily stayed enforcement of an ordinance [2006-38R text, TIF] passed by the city of Escondido, California [official website] which would punish landlords for renting to illegal immigrants [JURIST report]. The ordinance requires landlords to provide evidence of their tenants' immigration status to city officials, who would verify the data with federal government records. Under the measure, landlords are given 10 days to evict illegal immigrants or face the loss of their business license, fines, and misdemeanor charges.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] filed by the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) [advocacy website], and other rights groups, who claim the ordinance illegally punishes landlords.

Earlier this month, in response to another suit by the ACLU, a federal judge in Pennsylvania issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of a similar ordinance enacted by the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania [JURIST news archive]. AP has more. The San Diego Union-Tribune has local coverage.

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