Texas Town Approves Ban On Renting to Illegal Migrants

Associated Press
Sunday, May 13, 2007

FARMERS BRANCH, Tex., May 12 -- Voters in this Dallas suburb Saturday overwhelmingly approved a measure banning landlords from renting to most illegal immigrants, in the first public vote on any of the more than 90 measures local governments around the country have proposed to crack down on illegal immigration.

With two-thirds of precincts reporting, the measure had 68 percent support, with 32 percent opposed. It requires apartment managers to verify that renters are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants before leasing to them, with some exceptions.

"It says especially to Congress that we're tired of the out-of-control illegal immigration problem. That if Congress doesn't do something about it, cities will," said Tim O'Hare, a City Council member who was the ordinance's lead proponent.

Council members approved the ordinance in November, then revised it in January to include exemptions for minors, seniors and some families with a mix of legal residents and illegal immigrants.

Farmers Branch has become the site of protests and angry confrontations, and opponents of the regulation gathered enough signatures to force the city to put the measure on the municipal election ballot.

With Saturday's approval of the ban, opponents plan to fight it in court, and will seek a restraining order to stop the city from enforcing it.

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