Former Marine Sgt. Salvadaor Parada, right, speaks to protesters during a rally outside city hall in Farmers Branch, Texas in 2006. Rex C. Curry/AP
A long-running case with great symbolism for the immigration debate in the country has likely come to an end today: The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Dallas suburb over its stringent laws against illegal immigrants.
As we’ve reported, taking Arizona’s lead back in 2006, Farmers Branch “passed legislation that among other things barred anyone from renting property to undocumented immigrants.”
The town of Farmers Branch became the site of protests both for and against immigrants.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled those laws unconstitutional because they stepped on the jurisdiction of the federal government.
NPR member station KERA reports:
“The Storefront, an affiliate of the Bickel & Brewer law firm, has worked to oppose several versions of the ordinance since 2006. Lawyers were pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“‘Our hope is that the city will close this unfortunate chapter in its history and begin to embrace the changing demographics of the community – as part of a more inclusive and dynamic future,’ William A. Brewer III, partner at Bickel & Brewer Storefront, said in a news release. ‘[We] hope that these past years of litigation are instructive to communities and courts around the nation.’
“The justices on Monday also declined to take up an appeal from the city of Hazleton, Pa., regarding its ordinance that also sought to keep people who are in the country illegally from finding housing.”
The legal fight has cost the city of 29,000 residents at least $6 million.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Farmers Branch Mayor Bill Glancy said he “needed to discuss the Supreme Court decision with the rest of the City Council, a group with three new council members since the ordinance was first proposed.”
Update at 6:55 p.m. ET. Welcoming To Immigrants:
The American Civil Liberties Union’s Omar Jadwat, the lead attorney challenging the ordinances, said these kinds of laws have been found to be unconstitutional over and over again.
“Today, the ordinances’ supporters failed in their final, last ditch attempt to resurrect these laws, which have been blocked for years without ever going into effect,” Jdwat said in a statement. “Now that these appeals are over, we look forward to Farmers Branch and Hazleton joining cities across the nation that are looking at ways to make their cities welcoming places for immigrants, rather writing hostility and discrimination into municipal law.”