Dallas suburb approves new rental ordinance targeting illegal immigrants News
Dallas suburb approves new rental ordinance targeting illegal immigrants

[JURIST] The City Council of Farmers Branch [official website; JURIST news archive], a Dallas, Texas suburb, on Tuesday approved a measure [Ordinance 2952 text, PDF] that would require all adults to apply for a city license before they can lease a house or apartment. The application obliges rental applicants to disclose whether they are a US citizen or a legal alien in the US, and local law enforcement would subsequently cross-check the information with a federal database. Any applicant can move into their rental immediately, but if the database fails to confirm the applicant's legal status, the applicant must prove their legal residency within 60 days or lose the city license.

Ordinance 2952 is the town's second attempt at prohibiting landlords within the city limits from renting housing to illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive], and is designed to appease opponents of an earlier ordinance [Ordinance 2903 text, DOC], which placed the burden of enforcement on landlords rather than the government. In June 2007, a US federal judge extended a temporary restraining order [JURIST report] blocking Farmers Branch from enforcing Ordinance 2903, which had been approved by voters [JURIST report]. The ordinance approved Tuesday will go into effect 15 days after a final judgment is made in the lawsuit [complaint, PDF] challenging the constitutionality of Ordinance 2903. AP has more.