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Latino Daily News

Monday May 5, 2014

US Supreme Court Lets Stand Law That Bars Renting to Undocumented People

US Supreme Court Lets Stand Law That Bars Renting to Undocumented People

Photo: For Rent

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Nebraska city’s ordinance requiring that anyone who wants to rent a home must prove that they are in the country legally.

Thus, the high court upheld the ruling of an appellate panel that last year established that Fremont’s regulation is not in conflict with federal law and is not discriminatory.

Ordinance 5165, approved by Fremont voters in a 2010 referendum, prohibited hiring or renting to people who can’t prove their legal immigration status.

The measure also required local businesses to use the federal government’s E-verify system to confirm that job applicants are authorized to work in the country.

On Feb. 28, 2012, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp found that the portions of 5165 pertaining to housing were discriminatory and in conflict with federal law and she issued an injunction blocking the enforcement of those provisions.

Last June, however, two of the three judges on a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reached a different conclusion, overturning Camp’s decision and lifting the injunction.

In March, the Supreme Court rejected similar cases in which cities in Texas and Pennsylvania tried to reestablish requirements for renting homes such as presenting identification that proves one’s immigration status.

Authorities in Fremont began enforcing the housing restriction last month.

Ordinance 5165 will not affect people who are already renting housing in the town, Fremont police chief Jeff Elliott has said.

Census figures show that Latinos account for just under 12 percent of Fremont’s roughly 26,000 residents. Forty percent of the town’s Hispanic residents are U.S. citizens.


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