Voters in Dallas Suburb Pass Illegal Immigration Ordinance

Voters in Farmers Branch, Texas have passed a resolution that would require apartment owners to verify that renters are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants before leasing to them, with some exceptions.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union have asked a federal district court for a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from enforcing the ban. A group of merchants also is suing the city in federal court to stop the ordinance’s enforcement. Some apartment owners say they shouldn’t be doing the job of the federal government to verify an individual’s residency status.

NMHC, NAA Sue HUD Over LEP Guidance

The National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) filed a lawsuit in early May against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), asking a federal judge to strike down HUD’s Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Guidance, which went into effect March 7. The LEP Guidance requires federally funded apartment owners to translate a variety of rental documents into multiple languages and to supply verbal translations for individuals who cannot read their native language. “It is ridiculous to delegate that burden to housing providers. They are not qualified to ensure the competency of translators and interpreters,” said Jim Arbury, senior vice president of government affairs for both the NMHC and NAA. The associations want HUD to withdraw its guidance, allocate its own resources for transactions, and create a hotline to handle inquiries from LEP persons.