By | Chris Zavadil
A U.S. District Court judge on Monday upheld most of Fremont’s illegal immigrant ordinance, striking down only portions of the voter-approved law.
It was a decision that had attorneys from both sides of the issue declaring victory.
Judge Laurie Smith Camp issued a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction declaring void provisions prohibiting the harboring of illegal aliens, providing for the revocation of occupancy licenses and providing for certain penalties following the revocation of occupancy licenses.
Smith Camp wrote those provisions are preempted by the Immigration and Nationality Act and violate the Fair Housing Act.
The rest of Ordinance No. 5165, however, is scheduled to take effect on March 5, said Kris Kobach, the Kansas-based attorney who wrote the ordinance and defended it on behalf of the city against lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
“This ordinance is going to have a very big effect on restoring the rule of law in Fremont,” Kobach said.
“Starting 14 days from today,” he said, “every business in the city is going to need to register in the E-Verify program, city contracts will not be written with companies that do not use E-Verify and occupants in apartments in Fremont will have to provide information to the city and that information will be shared with the federal government.”
Smith Camp, referring to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on an Arizona law, upheld the employment portion of the ordinance, requiring businesses in Fremont and contractors doing business with the city to register with the federal E-Verify system. Businesses must be registered with E-Verify by May 4, Kobach said.
However, Fremont City Attorney Paul Payne, in a prepared statement, said the city is reviewing the court’s opinion and that there would be no decisions on implementation until the council meets Feb. 28.