A Federal Court Upholds Ban on Hiring Undocumented Workers in St. Louis Suburb

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of the city of Valley Park, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, the Missourian is reporting. The town, which in 2006 passed an ordinance forbidding the hiring of undocumented workers, has been thrust in the middle of a nationwide debate.

Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Arizona state law that also prohibits hiring undocumented workers. Meanwhile, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia is hearing a similar case from Hazelton, PA.

The Valley Park case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Jacqueline Gray, a landlord who hires people for odd jobs and maintenance.

Valley Park is a working-class city with a population of 6,500 located about 15 miles outside St. Louis. The city has been entrenched in court battles since passing the immigration law back in 2006. In 2007, the city revised the law, this time without a provision that prohibited renting to undocumented immigrants, but still with language prohibiting hiring them.

The 2000 Census showed the town’s Hispanic population was 2.3 percent.