Appeals Court to Cities: “Butt Out”

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A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit recently ruled that federal immigration law preempts municipal ordinance initiatives aimed at punishing landlords and businesses that deal with illegal immigrants.

The 188-page ruling in Lozano, et al. vs. City of Hazleton, stated that: “Federal law simply does not prohibit landlords from renting… to persons who lack lawful immigration status.” Chief Judge Theodore McKee also emphasized that federal law does not prohibit “persons lacking lawful status” from renting apartments.

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