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On December 13, 2012, attorneys Kris Kobach and Garrett Roe attended oral arguments in the cases of Martinez v. City of Fremont and Keller v. City of Fremont before a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Kris Kobach argued for the City of Fremont.
Representing the landlord and tenant plaintiffs were attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Also arguing against the City was an attorney for the United States Department of Justice.
At issue in the case is whether Fremont can implement its ordinance which bans the hiring and knowing harboring of illegal aliens. The district court found nearly Fremont’s entire ordinance to be permissible. Before the Eighth Circuit, Kris Kobach explained that nothing in the federal statutes can demonstrate that Congress has even considered prohibiting states from prohibiting landlords from knowingly harboring illegal aliens. In opposition, attorneys for the ACLU and the Department of Justice contend that the Fremont ordinance interfered with the federal removal process. IRLI expects a decision sometime next year. Similar litigation is also awaiting decisions in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Lozano v. City of Hazleton and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Villas at Parkside II et al v. City of Farmers Branch . Attorneys with IRLI represent the cities in those cases as well.