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Judge extends restraining order against Valley Park

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A St. Louis County judge has extended an order that prohibits Valley Park from enforcing its latest ordinance on illegal immigration.

The law bans landlords from getting occupancy permits for people who are in the country unlawfully.

Valley Park has enacted similar ordinances twice before. But a group of landlords and immigrant advocates have sued and courts blocked the measures both times.

Plaintiffs' attorney Kathy Wisniewski says the city is trying a new strategy, but the law is still unconstitutional.

"What an occupancy permit is supposed to be for, in our view, is to ensure that the building has the right plumbing, for instance, and the right number of fire alarms, and not to regulate classes of people," Wisniewski said.

Valley Park City Attorney Eric Martin declined to comment on Wednesday's decision.

"Hopefully, if this trail is also struck down, there won't be any more roads they can travel to try to do it through some other avenue," Wisniewski added, who argues city housing codes are supposed to regulate buildings - not groups of people.

The case is scheduled for trial September 13. The plaintiffs want her to block the law permanently.