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Local immigrant aid suit dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at compelling some Lexington government agencies to curtail public benefits offered to residents who are undocumented immigrants.

The lawsuit, filed by David Duncan against the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, argued that since their agencies received federal funds they needed to enforce federal immigration law and deny services to people who could not provide a valid driver's license or Social Security number.

Attorneys for the defendants responded that Duncan did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Karl Forester agreed.

In his ruling, the judge also said Duncan could not show he was in any way harmed by the agencies' actions.

Duncan also argued his rights were compromised and taxes unnecessarily higher because some government agencies provide services to undocumented immigrants. Forester dismissed this claim as "merely speculative."

Duncan said he was not surprised by the ruling. In an e-mailed statement, he said he is considering appealing to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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