San Diego The American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups sued the city of Escondido in an effort to overturn a new law that prohibits landlords from renting to illegal immigrants.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in San Diego federal court, says the ordinance violates federal and state laws and puts landlords in an "impossible position" of enforcing immigration laws.
It asks the court to prevent the law from taking effect Nov. 18 in the city, which is 30 miles northwest of San Diego. Hispanics make up 42 percent of Escondido's 142,000 residents.
The City Council voted 3-2 last month to require landlords to submit documentation of their tenants' immigration status to the city, which then would verify that information with the federal government.
If tenants are found to be illegal immigrants, landlords would be given 10 days to evict them or face suspension of their business license. Repeat offenders could face misdemeanor charges and fines.