Denied Housing Based on Immigration Status Is Illegal
Because immigration law is under federal jurisdiction, whether an appeal is heard by a U.S. Court of Appeals in New York or a U.S. Court of Appeals in Texas, it is still a federal ruling that can set a precedent for immigration law. Within the past few years, states and even municipalities have attempted their own control over immigration by passing local laws.
Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which is based in New Orleans, ruled on a case dealing with housing for immigrants. As reported by Thomson Reuters, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that blocked an ordinance in Farmers Branch, Texas. The ordinance's purpose was to exclude undocumented aliens by requiring renters to register with the city of Farmers Branch and obtain an occupancy license. It also required building inspectors to verify the applicant's immigration status with the federal government. Landlords who rented to tenants without occupancy licenses could lose their rental licenses.
Case background details
This case began in 2008 through a lawsuit brought by apartment owners and Hispanic tenants seeking to block the law. They argued that the law attempted to rule on immigration, a power that only the federal government had jurisdiction over. The U.S. District Judge Boyle, hearing the case, issued a permanent injunction against the ordinance. The city subsequently appealed to a higher court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th District.
If you are having problems with housing or other issues related to immigration, consult a skilled New York immigration lawyer for legal help. Find out about your rights and put a legal advocate on your side.