Farmers Branch, TX – Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter: Like in past, packed contentious meetings, this gathering drew residents for and against the ordinance. Item 2952 will require any new renters of Farmers Branch homes or apartments to get city issued licenses of occupancy, for 5 dollars a tenant. Names will be checked against a federal database. Anyone with questions has 60 days to prove legal residency, or they'll get evicted. Jamie Jewel likes the rule.
Jamie jewel I'm tired of city, county, & my tax dollars for services going to illegals.
Zeeble: Luis Delagarza opposed the ordinance.
Luis Delagarza - This is not a solution to the problem. Are we finding the solution to the problem? Not. Are we respecting the federal government again? Not. Do we have to respect our local government? I don't think so.
Zeeble: Because 2952 puts the burden of a tenant's legal status on the federal government, not landlords, Farmers Branch officials say this ordinance will be constitutional. Apartment owners dislike it, saying it'll hurt business. But it will only go into effect after judge Sam Lindsay rules on last year's questionable ordinance. Then, critics of the new law say they'll immediately challenge it in court, tying it up for another undetermined amount of time. Opposing lawyers say it will not meet legal standards. Mayor Pro Tem Tim O'Hare, who proposed the first renter's ordinance, said litigation on this issue has already cost the city 3 quarters of a million dollars. Bill Zeeble KERA news.