Several states and numerous cities around the U.S. are proposing local laws to “crack down” on undocumented foreign nationals. In our local area, the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch is currently debating proposed city ordinances that would make it harder for such immigrants to live and work in that city.

Among the proposed ordinances are ones that would prohibit landlords from leasing to illegal immigrants and would penalize businesses that employ them. Another proposal would make English the city’s official language, and prohibit publishing any city documents in Spanish. Still another proposal would eliminate subsidies for illegal immigrant children in the city’s youth programs.

Of course Hispanic leaders in the area are speaking out against such ordinances, and vowing to fight them in court.

Passing these ordinances would set up an interesting legal issue. There is a federal law that prohibits cities and states from passing laws that impose stricter criminal or civil penalties for illegal immigration than those adopted by Congress.