A federal judge has ruled that a Farmers Branch ordinance banning illegal immigrants from renting apartments is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle of Dallas ruled Wednesday that the ordinance was an attempt to enforce U.S. immigration laws, something only the federal government can do.
"Ordinance 2952 is a regulation of immigration and is preempted by the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution because the authority to regulate immigration is exclusively a federal power," she wrote.
The ordinance established a licensing system for renters in Farmers Branch. Renters would be required to pay a $5 fee and obtain a residential occupancy license issued by the city's building inspector. Under the system, the building inspector would verify a renter's immigration status with federal officials if the renter did not declare him or herself a citizen or national of the United States. The city would revoke the licenses of people the federal government said were in the country illegally.