LEAGUE CITY — A pair of social justice and civil rights groups are challenging League City’s resolution barring the housing of undocumented immigrants within its city limits.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Texas Appleseed said the city’s resolution was a violation of the Fair Housing Act and of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in a compliant filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“League City has chosen a broken, misguided and extremely disturbing method to address a national humanitarian crisis in which child refugees are fleeing extreme violence in their home countries,” said Deborah Fowler, deputy director of Texas Appleseed.
An estimated 57,000 undocumented children have been detained entering the U.S. since October, overwhelming holding facilities and leading the federal government to find alternative locations to house the children until they are united with relatives or sponsors in this country or returned to their country of origin.
In response, League City’s council approved a resolution on July 8 that would prohibit city departments from cooperating with federal directives or requests to process or house undocumented immigrants.
In the complaint filed by The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Texas Appleseed, the groups argue that League City, which accepts and uses federal funds, has “illegally discriminated against people because of their race, color and national origin, and has engaged in differential treatment of those who benefit from federal assistance — a clear violation of federal law,” according to a news release from the two groups.
“This complaint is a warning to other municipalities that are considering similar resolutions — cities can’t accept federal funds, and then use them to discriminate,” said Marisa Bono, staff attorney with The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “As complainants, we ask HUD to immediately initiate an investigation, require community-wide compliance, and put a halt to League City’s illegal action targeting vulnerable children.”