The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied review [order list, PDF] of two cases involving local ordinances that sought to deny housing to undocumented immigrants. The court's denial will will let stand lower court rulings that the ordinances are unconstitutional and prohibited from taking effect in their proposed locations of Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Farmers Branch, Texas [case dockets]. The supervising attorney for the case said [press release] "now that these appeals are over, we look forward to Farmers Branch and Hazleton joining cities across the nation that are looking at ways to make their cities welcoming places for immigrants, rather writing hostility and discrimination into municipal law."
Immigration laws [JURIST backgrounder] have became a hot button issue over the past few years when many states passed laws giving their state and local officials more power to crack down on illegal immigration. Last month Washington state legislators approved a bill [JURIST report] to make college students who were brought to the US illegally by their parents eligible for need-based college financial aid. In December New Jersey Governor Chris Christie [official website] signed a bill [JURIST report] that will allow undocumented students to be eligible for in-state tuition rates to attend state colleges. In April Oregon's governor signed a bill [JURIST report] allowing undocumented immigrants to attend public universities at the same tuition rate as in-state residents. In March a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia permanently blocked [JURIST report] a key provision in Georgia's immigration law that criminalized knowingly transporting or harboring an undocumented immigrant during the course of any other crime. Last year Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange asked [JURIST report] the US Supreme Court to overturn a recent decision striking down provisions of Alabama's controversial immigration law [HB 56, PDF].