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Vote Could End Farmers Branch Illegal Immigrant Rental Ban Fight

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(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

FARMERS BRANCH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Farmers Branch City Council could vote today on whether or not to end its long and costly legal fight to implement an ordinance banning immigrants, who are in the U.S. without legal permission, from renting property in the city.

Leaders have been fighting to implement the ordinance for seven years and the legal battle has cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million so far.

Late last month, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans found the ordinance unconstitutional, agreeing with a lower court’s decision that ruled against the city.

Farmers Branch Mayor Bill Glancy wants city leaders to take their time. “We’ve got 90 days before we have to make a decision on the process of an appeal; whether they want to take it to the Supreme Court or not,” he said.

The proposed ordinance would require all renters in the city to have a license. Part of the application for that license includes questions about the individual’s legal status. If the person applying for a license was found to be in the country illegally they would be denied a permit and any person knowingly renting to them could be fined or have their renter’s license revoked.

Mayor Glancy said trying to resolve the matter swiftly doesn’t mean it’s resolved correctly. “Haste makes waste in a lot of those type of things and dealing with the justice system in this country is a very difficult road to travel,” he said, adding, “I am not of a mindset that I want to push the council to make a quick decision on it. Let’s think it through. Let’s make sense of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”

As it stands, the Farmers Branch City Council agenda has the issue listed for discussion in executive session, with a possible vote following. But Glancy says there are no guarantees. “We may not make a decision tonight. We may want to look at other alternatives and evaluate.

During tonight’s meeting the public will also be allowed to address the council on which direction to take with the ordinance.

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