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Judge Sets Hearing Date for Escondido Landlord Ordinance

A federal judge has set a spring date for a preliminary injunction hearing on the controversial Escondido illegal-immigrant housing ordinance. U.S. District Judge John Houston set a March 8th hearing date yesterday.

The judge also issued a written ruling of the temporary restraining order he granted last week. Houston says the housing ordinance raises "serious questions" about a number of issues, including federal authority to govern immigration law, due process and the authority of the city manager to amend the ordinance language. 

The ordinance requires landlords to submit documentation on their tenants' immigration status to the city of Escondido, which would forward the information to the federal government for verification.

A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that the ordinance would be pre-empted by federal laws governing immigration and that it forces landlords to evict tenants without due process.

If a preliminary injunction is granted, it would bar Escondido from enforcing the ordinance until the lawsuit has been fully litigated.

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