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Latin Food Vendors Say Texas Had It In For Them

HOUSTON (CN) - The State of Texas is discriminating against Hispanic operators of food carts by unconstitutionally vague laws scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, six vendors claim in Federal Court.

The amendments to Section 437 of the Health and Safety Code require, among other things, that food vendors to provide documentation, every day, that their carts have been cleaned within 24 hours; require the city, county or municipality to have an electronic system set up to verify this; and require vendors to get notarized statements from property owners before selling anything there. These laws apply only in counties of greater than 2.8 million population. Plaintiffs claim it was "the intent of the Texas Legislature to discriminate against the MFU (mobile food unit) owners and workers, almost all of whom are of Hispanic descent." They seek an injunction. They are represented by Mestemaker & Straub. See complaint.

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