Dallas 'Burb Goes to Court in Fight to Ban Illegal Renters

Landlords who rent to aliens could face fees, disbarment

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 19, 2012 8:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – The small Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch has Arizona's recent immigration law looking downright liberal, and it's about to get its day in court. Farmers Branch has spent years and about $6 million in its effort to bar illegal immigrants from rental housing, reports the AP. And today, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is taking a rare second look at the controversial measure, which would require all renters to buy a $5 city license, fill out an application focused on their legal status, and be approved by a city building inspector.

The measure actually has a shot this time, explains the AP, because the judges involved, the 5th's full membership, are largely conservative. But only a few months ago, a three-judge panel from the same body turned it down. The court's ruling would be binding only in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, but other courts are considering similar laws, and it could have a ripple effect in the nation's contentious immigration debate.

In this Nov. 13, 2006 file photo, former Marine Sgt. Salvador Parada speaks to protesters during a rally outside city hall in Farmers Branch, Texas.   (AP Photo/Rex C. Curry, File)
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