August 31, 2008
— Gabriel Malor This story got lost in all the convention coverage last week.
Farmers Branch, TX, a suburb of Dallas, has been trying for several years now to reduce the effects of illegal immigration in the city. In 2006 the city council passed ordinances to designate English the official language, to train police officers in immigration enforcement, to fine businesses who employ illegals, and to fine landlords who rent to illegals. The ordinance was then passed by a voter referendum 68% to 32%.
The city was promptly sued in federal district court and years of litigation resulted. The rental restriction has faced the most criticism. It requires landlords to obtain and keep evidence that tenants are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Last Thursday, Judge Sam Lindsay issued a final judgment against the city declaring the rental ordinance unconstitutional and unenforceable. He ruled that it infringed upon the plenary power of Congress in immigration matters and that its use of the phrase "eligible immigration status" was too vague to meet the requirements of due process.
Farmers Branch isn't done yet. It already passed a replacement ordinance which would go into effect 15 days after a final judgment.
Ordinance 2952 [the replacement ordinance], by contrast, would require prospective renters to pay $5 to the city and declare their citizenship or legal U.S. residency to obtain a license to rent a house or apartment. Landlords could rent to anyone with a license. The city would be responsible for checking the tenants' information against a federal database to confirm their legal status.
This one was designed to avoid the constitutional deficiencies identified by the judge. It doesn't place any burden on landlords to decide the immigration status of prospective tenants, nor does it give that power to the city government. Instead, it simply withholds a rental license from anyone the federal government doesn't have listed as a legal resident. Increasingly, courts have upheld state and local laws involving immigration so long as they leave actual immigration enforcement or determinations of immigration status to the federal government.
Lawsuits are already pending over the replacement ordinance. Incidentally, Judge Lindsay has made statements that indicate to me he's already come to a conclusion on it:
"The new ordinance is yet another attempt to circumvent the court's prior rulings and further an agenda that runs afoul of the United States Constitution," he said at the time.
Posted by: Frank G at August 31, 2008 07:32 AM (P0rQD)
The Congress makes the law on enforcing immigration; it's a federal responsibility.
What other product or service (short of maybe a national defense issue) is prohibited to be sold or rented to non-citizens? If the city feels strongly a given person isn't a citizen, they should report it to ICE, and if ICE does squat, they should embarrass the federal government. They can even detain and turn the illegal immigrant over to ICE if they have sufficient legal grounds for the original detention.
I support your country's right to its own immigration law, to protect its border, to deport, etc. But I agree with the reasoning in this decision.
Posted by: Christoph at August 31, 2008 07:36 AM (hawOV)
Posted by: GarandFan at August 31, 2008 07:46 AM (eJ32B)
Posted by: LiveFreeOrDie at August 31, 2008 07:49 AM (4HuGv)
Posted by: Dave J at August 31, 2008 07:56 AM (qsGH+)
Posted by: Christoph at August 31, 2008 08:01 AM (hawOV)
Posted by: Christoph at August 31, 2008 08:02 AM (hawOV)
Firearms. Its on line #11 and question 12k on the ATF from 4473.
Posted by: Purple Avenger at August 31, 2008 08:13 AM (6L459)
Posted by: Christoph at August 31, 2008 08:21 AM (hawOV)
Posted by: Smug at August 31, 2008 08:35 AM (baPuN)
For the record, because these stories never ever ever ever give this information: "appointed by Bill Clinton in 1997".
Posted by: AmishDude at August 31, 2008 08:39 AM (GlrN/)
In Oklahoma it is unlawful to purchase real estate unless the purchaser is a US citizen.
I've told you before about arguing the law when you know so little.
P.S. How's that Obama "bounce" going?
Posted by: Nom de Blog at August 31, 2008 08:44 AM (14k+t)
Explain how private firearms sales are a "national defense" issue. Please be specific.
Posted by: Purple Avenger at August 31, 2008 08:50 AM (6L459)
I'm against co-opting private businesses into enforcing Federal laws. Hell, I'm against the Feds co-opting anyone other than other Feds into enforcing Federal law.
But the revised version seems hunky dory with me. If a municipality wants to pass a law that say no green card, no license, that's their perogative.
Posted by: ThomasD at August 31, 2008 09:13 AM (UK5R1)
Correction: the law in Oklahoma prevents nonresident aliens from owning land in the state.
Posted by: Gabriel Malor at August 31, 2008 09:19 AM (1Ug6U)
Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U. S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
Nominated by William J. Clinton on November 8, 1997, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089; Confirmed by the Senate on March 11, 1998, and received commission on March 17, 1998.
St. Mary`s University, B.A., 1974
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1977
Staff attorney, Texas Aeronautics Commission, 1977-1979
Attorney, City Attorney's Office, Dallas, TX, 1979-1998
Head, Federal Litigation Section, 1979-1986
Chief of litigation division/executive assistant city attorney, 1986-1990
First assistant city attorney, 1990-1991
Acting city attorney, 1991
City attorney, 1992-1998
Race or Ethnicity: African American
Posted by: Tinian at August 31, 2008 09:21 AM (1Mq7K)
Yer killing me, Christoph.
Posted by: Tinian at August 31, 2008 09:29 AM (1Mq7K)
It's arguable, but it's much more marginal, given that the city is actually relying on prior individualized federal determinations with respect to immigration issues.
Now keep in mind, Congress could themselves pass a statute expressly authorizing states and localities to do things like this. Then such ordinances would be acting on a delegation of federal power and almost certainly constitutional.
Posted by: Dave J at August 31, 2008 09:47 AM (qsGH+)
I do not think the replacement ordinance is "hunky dory" at all. The poster said "no green card, no license" is ok, but name ANY other US city, now or anytime since this country has been founded, that has required a license from the local city government before ANYONE is allowed to move to that town. I don't care how easy the license is to get; the imposition of that requirement is a HUGE increase in governmental authority and one of the most outrageously liberal policies I have ever seen. How can this requirment ever be justified? How can I, a natural born American Citizen, be required to go to City Hall and obtain a residence license before I am allowed to live in Farmers Branch? But this is what the new ordinance will require for EVERYONE, and this is outrageous. And who's to say they won't up the requirements in the future, since that's the trajectory that all of these governmental rules always take?
One of the worst things about this illegal immigration fight is that angry conservatives are beginning to adopt shockingly liberal ideas that vastly expand the government's power out of frustration. This is WRONG. If conservatives begin to sell out their principles for victory at any cost, they will have already lost everything important to them.
Posted by: wws at August 31, 2008 09:58 AM (z+U1w)
That wasn't so much a correction as an addendum.
But thanks anyway, ass hole.
Moby meat is tasty and delicious.
I find your moby posts go well with a chilled-the-fuck-out white whine.
Posted by: Nom de Blog at August 31, 2008 10:02 AM (14k+t)
Posted by: Squire of Dimness at August 31, 2008 10:04 AM (o4MaC)
Posted by: Flubber at August 31, 2008 11:48 AM (atCpK)
There's a certain practical side to this issue that is being ignored by the idealists. The Fed has no intention of doing it's job, and in this case can not be shamed into doing it. The localities are being required to lay down and tolerate the wave of illegals washing over them and keep quiet. They are told to accept economic ruin for their own less educated citizens, clogged hospitals, clogged schools, crime waves, and all the other unmitigated blights that unrestricted immigration causes. That's absurd - and measures like this are taken as a legitimate means of self defense. An anaolgy - I keep guns in my house because the police don't get paid to protect me - they're paid to clean up the mess and maybe, if they feel like it, cast about half-heartedly for whoever robbed/killed me after the event. The Fed handles illegal immigration (colonization, really) much the same way. The towns must devise their own means of self defense. Constitutional arguements about who is supposed to do what are all well and good, but thanks to the Left the real meaning of the Constitution has been ignored for many years now and shows no sign of making a come back. Local governments, especially those boating 2/3+ majority votes on their ballot measures, are well justified in looking out for their own interests. Hell - the Fed should be thanking them for taking up the slack and making the Fed's job easier. And if legal means are exhausted, who can blame them for resorting to non-legal means? Frankly I'm amazed at the heroic level of self restraint that Americans have exercised over the last several years. In most other nations the Minute Men would have been sending hot rounds down range rather than using their radios, and we'd have already had a good purging of the Muslims. How much more are Americans supposed to swallow before they can say ENOUGH?
Posted by: Reactionary at September 01, 2008 06:07 AM (+FLGb)
Posted by: .ark at December 07, 2008 08:12 PM (nWyuK)
Posted by: cdsc at August 30, 2009 03:49 AM (dz5BH)
Posted by: Видеонаблюдение at January 14, 2010 12:18 PM (vm3jg)
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