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Texas judge stays implementation of Dallas area anti-illegal immigration laws

[JURIST] Texas District Judge Bruce Priddy granted a 14-day temporary restraining order on Thursday preventing anti-illegal immigrant measures from going into effect as scheduled on Friday in Farmers Branch, Texas. The ordinances, passed last month in the Dallas suburb [JURIST report; Dallas Morning News report], were challenged by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union. Priddy will hold a hearing on Jan. 22 on whether to issue a temporary injunction in the case.

Last month, three Texas landlords filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging the constitutionality of measures. The local anti-illegal immigration laws, the strongest yet passed in Texas, include making English the city's official language [Res. No. 2006-130 text], requiring apartment renters to show proof of residency [Ordinance No. 2892 text], and giving police the power to screen the residency status of suspects in custody. Landlords who rent to illegal immigrants would be subject to a $500 fine for each day they violate the law by renting to individuals without proper documentation. Activists have petitioned against the ordinance [AP report] in an effort to put it to a referendum. An estimated 37 percent of Farmers Branch's population of 28,000 is Hispanic. AP has more.

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