Blogging mostly about mundane stuff like, immigration, Workers' Compensation and other immigrant related activities.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Restraining Order Issued on Farmers Branch

Image: Farmers Branch, Texas protest

A federal judge Monday blocked the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch from enforcing a controversial ordinance that the City Council passed by a 2-1 margin. The ordinance would have barred illegal immigrants from renting apartments in Farmers Branch.

The 20 page ruling, essentially a restraining order on the city by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay is available as a PDF download here.

Judge Lindsay wrote:
“The court … fully understands the frustration of cities attempting to address a national problem that the federal government should handle; however, [that] cannot serve as a basis to pass an ordinance that conflicts with federal law.”

The federal lawsuits brought against Farmers Branch for it's attempt to bar illegal immigrants from renting apartments was sought by Latino groups and apartments owners, as well as other businesses. These groups claimed they would have faced irreparable harm if the $500 fines were imposed along with a lose of business to other neighboring cities.

The ruling amounts to a temporary restraining order on Farmers Branch, Texas and its officers who are prohibited from effectuating or enforcing the city Ordinance 2903. The matter still has a pending hearing on the Plaintiffs’ requests for preliminary injunction, so the temporary restraining only preserves the status quo. The ruling stated that the order is not final and may change upon reviewing additional facts and issues, as well as the court having the opportunity to conduct a more thorough analysis of the legal issues presented.

Marisol Perez, a staff attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which along with the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the ordinance, said "This opinion gives us an idea about how he feels about the matter. He is in line with what other judges around the country have found when faced with these ordinances," she said. "We'll see what happens next."

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1 comment:

Henry Drake said...

Well the action is one of way addressing issues involving illegal immigrants taking refuge in apartments in Farmers Branch but is not the only way and may not necessarily be the best way. I hope they do something good out of the restraining order.