Monday, March 3, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Declined To Hear Several Discriminatory Anti-immigrant Housing Cases

Several U.S. cities, Hazleton, PA and Farmers Branch, TX lost an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, when it decided not to hear their discriminatory anti-immigrant city ordinances forbidding businesses and rental house/apartment owners to rent to undocumented immigrants within city limits.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 3, 2014

Washington, D.C. - On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear several cases from Hazleton, PA and Farmers Branch, TX (Lozano v. City of Hazleton,  13-531 and Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 13-516) that resulted from approving city ordinances that barred businesses and prevented house and apartment owners from renting to undocumented immigrants from within city limits. In the two cases, undocumented tenants would be detained and fined for not registering to get tenant approved rental licenses (permits). The Hazleton ordinance also barred businesses from knowingly hiring undocumented workers. The Hazleton and Farmers Branch anti-immigrant cases and their ordinances are forever moot, according to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. 
In 2006, Hazleton approved an ordinance that would fine and revoke business or apartment rental licenses to owners that hired or rented to undocumented immigrants. A multiple lower federal court of appeals had ruled that other lower courts were justified to declared the City of Hazleton ordinance unconstitutional and that city ordinances do not supersede federal immigration laws or enforcement. 
In 2007, Farmer Branch in Texas acted a similar Hazleton ordinance that would have fined business and apartment owners to rent to undocumented immigrants. Tenants would have also go through a legal status verification by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be allowed to rent houses or apartments within the city limits.
Those owners found in violation would have had their licenses revoked.
Since then, both Hazleton and Farmers Branch had an injunction from enforcing the anti-immigrant housing and rental prohibition ordinances costing the municipalities millions in attorneys fees.

No comments: