Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Law Prevails Over Anti-Immigrant Statute

Thank you, Judge Lindsay. In a ruling that keeps the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch from imposing a law on landlords to make them liable for enforcing the laws, Judge Lindsay has acted in a responsible and legally correct manner.

A day before the city planned to start enforcing an ordinance banning apartment rentals to most illegal immigrants, a federal judge put a temporary stop to the plan, ruling that it "conflicts with federal law."

Legal experts said the ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay signals that the ordinance may face trouble in federal court despite Farmers Branch voters' overwhelming approval of it May 12. Federal courts have issued rulings stopping other cities from implementing similar laws.

Judge Lindsay, in a 20-page ruling granting a temporary restraining order, said Farmers Branch had wrongly used federal laws governing who receives housing subsidies to write its ordinance and had created its own classification system for determining which noncitizens may rent an apartment in the city.

"The court recognizes that illegal immigration is a major problem in this country, and one who asserts otherwise ignores reality," Judge Lindsay wrote. "The court also fully understands the frustration of cities attempting to address a national problem that the federal government should handle; however, such frustration, no matter how great, cannot serve as a basis to pass an ordinance that conflicts with federal law."

The voters of Farmers Branch acted under the leadership of town council members who claim that their property values are lowered by the community of immigrants, despite evidence given to them that immigrant communities discernably upgrade the places that they live. Claims that crime is rampants in immigrant communities has also been proved untrue. It's sad that there are feelings against the later arrivals to this country among those whose ancestors came here earlier.

It's good indeed that the Judge has exercised sound judgment and I hope that the responsible members of Farmers Branch will show their appreciation to him.

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Anonymous Vicar said...

It's always amazing to me that in the immigration debate how actual data falls by the wayside. While #s of immigrants are impossible to discern, guesses give us decent ballparks and as you note evidence usually shows improvement to the masses rather than the feared "taking our jobs" (that no citizen wanted or was willing to do).

I can't understand why the privileged, at all ranks, feel that their gifts are something they're entitled to. I wonder how many anti-immigration folks receive subsidies from the public trough? Is the fact that we stole this land first the basis for our feeling of entitlement? How do these folks feel about native-american casino operations?

8:22 AM  
Blogger WoodyG'sGuitar, rogue scholar/tokin' liberal said...

Farmers' Branch's "overwhelming" support of the immigrant-housing-prohibition measure amounted to 60 percent, true; but it was 60 percent of the FIFTEEN PERCENT of eligible voters who turned out.

11:03 AM  
Blogger shrimplate said...

I have only a passing knowledge of mid-twentieth century European history, but it gives me with great wariness of any societal attempts to dehumanize other groups of people.

Laura Ingraham's confrontation with Lou Dobbs over the derogatory term "illegal aliens" goes to the core of my concern.

7:52 PM  

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