Nebraska city's immigration law valid, appeals court rules

| Friday, June 28, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

OMAHA — An eastern Nebraska city's ordinance that bans employing or renting property to people who are not in America legally is valid, a federal appeals panel ruled on Friday, opening the door for Freemont to begin enforcing its law.

In 2010, voters in the city of about 26,000 approved the measure. The ordinance also required businesses to use federal E-verify software to check on potential employees.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled that the part of the 2010 ordinance denying housing permits to those not in the country legally is discriminatory and interferes with federal law.

Two judges of a three-member panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that reasoning, leading the majority to reverse the ruling and vacate the lower court's injunction against that part of the ordinance.

Judge James Loken wrote that the plaintiffs — several U.S.-born Latino home renters and a Fremont landlord — failed to show the law was intended to discriminate against Latinos or that it intrudes on federal law.

Judge Steven Colloton agreed with the reversal and vacating of the injunction but said the plaintiffs lacked standing in the case, noting that they did not show how they had been harmed by Fremont's law.

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