People For the American Way applauded the decision by U.S. District Judge John A. Houston to put the brakes on Escondido’s ordinance that would have required all apartment tenants to prove legal residency. Melissa Daar, policy and field director in California for People For the American Way, said the following about the temporary restraining order:
“People For the American Way joined the lawsuit against Escondido as counsel because we believed this ordinance violated state and federal laws against discrimination, and this temporary restraining order is a crucial first step.
“We all know that our immigration system is in need of reform, but this ordinance only feeds anti-immigrant hysteria and discrimination against all of Escondido’s Latino residents, regardless of their legal status. The council took the easy way out with the ordinance. Instead of finding real solutions to Escondido’s problems, the council members thought they could scapegoat a group that can’t fight back. But they stepped out of legal bounds, and we can fight them on that.
“Judge Houston expressed serious concerns about the constitutionality of the ordinance and the harm it could cause – the same concerns that prompted us to mount this challenge. Hopefully, the new council will reconsider proceeding with this ordinance before wasting more taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit defending an illegal and unnecessary ordinance.”