Judge blocks illegal immigrant rent ban
May 22,2007 00:00 by UPI

DALLAS - A Dallas judge has blocked a suburb's ordinance that would have banned housing rentals to illegal immigrants beginning on Tuesday.

Voters in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch passed the measure by 68 percent in a referendum May 12, but two lawsuits were filed in an effort to block it, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported.

A suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund claimed the law would separate families and violate the Constitution's equal-protection clause.

A second suit by a group of landlords said the ordinance was not specific enough about what documents would-be renters needed to prove their legal status.

U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay is expected to schedule a preliminary injunction hearing in coming weeks to debate whether his order should stay in place, attorneys for both sides told the newspaper.

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