You may remember Farmers Branch. It's the suburban city just north of Dallas that tried to make it illegal for undocumented immigrants to live and work there. Their latest attempt involves making it illegal for apartment managers to lease or rent to immigrants without papers.
They have altered the ordinance a couple of times, trying to make it so it could pass court review. But several groups filed suit, and a judge issued a temporary restraining order. The order prevented the city from enforcing the immigrant ban until a trial could be held regarding the constitutionality of the ordinance.
But last week, the city did an incredible thing. They sent new license renewal forms to landlords in the city that contained a provision asking them to sign a statement saying they would not rent to immigrants without papers. They did exactly what the court order said they could not do.
The city said it was just a mistake -- they accidently sent out the wrong paperwork. But Bill Brewer, one of the opposing attorneys, has filed a motion asking the judge to find the city guilty of contempt of court. He said, "The difference hear is no small one. This is not misplaced parentheses or a date that was out of order."
The attorney is right. This was no inconsequential mistake. This was a direct and complete violation of the court order. The city should be found guilty of contempt and appropriately punished.