(AP) _

A federal appeals panel has ruled that Fremont's ordinance that discourages hiring or renting to people who aren't in the country legally is valid, opening the door for the eastern Nebraska city to begin enforcing its law.

In 2010, Fremont voters easily approved the measure, which banned hiring or renting to people who couldn't prove they were in the country legally. The ordinance also required businesses to use federal E-verify software to check on potential employees.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled parts of the 2010 ordinance that would deny housing permits were discriminatory and interferes with federal law.

On Friday, two judges of a three-member panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that reasoning, reversed the ruling and vacated the lower court's injunction.