Texas Town Becomes First to Prohibit Rentals to Illegals

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas -- Voters in Farmer's Branch became the first in the nation Saturday to prohibit landlords from renting to most illegal immigrants.

In final but unofficial reports, the ban was approved by a vote of 68 percent to 32 percent.

Councilman Tim O'Hare, the ordinance's lead proponent, says it sends Congress a message: that if they don't do something about illegal immigration, cities will.

Opponents plan to seek a restraining order to stop the city from enforcing it and try to get the case to trial.

Council members first approved the ban in November without discussion, taking comment from the public only after their vote, saying the federal government has failed to address illegal immigration.

Since then, Farmers Branch has become the site of protests and
angry confrontations.

The City Council revised the ordinance in January to include the exemptions for minors, seniors and some mixed-status families.

Opponents of the regulation gathered enough signatures to force the city to put the measure on the municipal election ballot.