Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Competition encourages localities to use land use laws to foster social goals and to push away undesirable uses … and people. In the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch, the city is persistent in efforts to make it both illegal and impossible for immigrants in the United States unlawfully to live in the city. After a federal judge barred an earlier ordinance in part because it used standards different from those of federal immigration law, the city has revised its ordinance, which would require potential rental tenants to get rental licenses from the city. The city would then try to confirm the tenant’s status; anyone shown to be in the United States unlawfully would be barred from renting in the city.
Which would be the surest outcome of such an ordinance: The encouragement of Latino residents to rent in neighboring towns, a black market in the rental market, or a bottleneck in the government approval process? All three?