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Houston Cabbies Don’t Need No Badges

HOUSTON (CN) - Beginning today, cab drivers - 95 percent of whom are nonwhite or immigrants - must get a city-issued badge to enter Houston's two airports for fares. The Houston Taxi Association sued the city for discrimination in a federal class action on behalf of its nearly 1,000 members.

City officials say the program is for security reasons, though limo and delivery drivers are allowed unfettered access to the airports.

Under the city's badge program, drivers must wait for fares in a squalid staging area, in "third world conditions," with outdoor toilets, 2 miles away from the airport, the complaint states. In addition, it requires cabbies to take all comers and gives them no discretion to deny a ride to customers they consider dangerous.

Represented by Reginald McKamie Sr., the association demands an injunction.

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