Ordinance will go into effect January 12, 2007

FARMERS BRANCH, TX-- Early this morning, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas (ACLU) filed a request for a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of an anti-immigrant ordinance adopted by the Farmers Branch City Council on November 13, 2006. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on January 12.

"We regret that the City Council is continuing its plan to implement this ordinance despite strong community opposition and its likely unconstitutionality," said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director for the ACLU of Texas.  "Now the issue will have to be resolved in federal court, at considerable cost to the taxpayers of Farmers Branch, the majority of whom recognize that the ordinance is both bad for the community and against the law."

"We hope the residents of Farmers Branch decide that this ordinance is not in their best interest and vote against it, but in the meantime we will continue to fight for the protection of the Constitutional rights of our clients," added Nina Perales, Southwest Regional Counsel for MALDEF.

Attorneys for the ACLU and MALDEF will continue with the suit filed on December 26, 2006 in federal district court on behalf of residents and landlords who will be adversely affected by the ordinance. The lawsuit maintains that the ordinance is in direct violation of federal immigration law and illegally puts landlords in the untenable situation of serving as federal law enforcement agents.  The complaint also alleges that the ordinance violates the fundamental rights of both landlords and tenants.

To view the Plaintiffs Application for Temporary Restaining Order, please click here.

To view the Plaintiffs Memorandum of Law in Support of their Application for a Temporary Restraining Order, please click here.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF, the nation's leading Latino legal organization, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through advocacy, litigation, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships.

The ACLU of Texasis the state affiliate of the national ACLU, which was founded in 1920 to defend and preserve the civil liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. The ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project is part of the ACLU's national office in New Yorkand coordinates litigation and advocacy on issues affecting immigration in all fifty states.