Immigrant Backlash

A city that barred landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants now faces a lawsuit. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and several other groups challenged Hazleton, PA effort to curb the rapid growth of the undocumented population in that city. The suit says the city law, which also penalizes employers for hiring the undocumented, is unconstitutional and violates the federal Fair Housing Act. Judging whether a person is undocumented is no easy task, the suit argues, and city officials are not qualified to do it. (Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader, 8/16)

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Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and the National Housing Institute, is the author of many works on housing and planning, including Bringing Buildings Back, A Decent Home, and Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective. He served as director of housing and economic development for Trenton, New Jersey, from 1990 to 1999, and teaches in the City and Regional Planning program at Pratt Institute.


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