Thursday, 26 July 2007
By WADE MALCOLM
A federal judge has struck down the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, ruling Hazleton's proposed crackdown on landlords and employers doing business with illegal immigrants is unconstitutional.
In a 206-page opinion, U.S. District Judge James M. Munley stated, "Federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinance" aimed at expelling illegal immigrants.
"Whatever frustrations ... the city of Hazleton may feel about the current state of federal immigration enforcement, the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme," Munley wrote.
"Schemes" are hatched by schemers.
The ruling comes about four months after a nine-day trial concluded in Scranton federal court and a little more than a year since city council passed the ordinance punishing businesses that hire and landlords who rent to illegal immigrants. A separate provision making English the official language was written into a different ordinance and dropped from the lawsuit.
A previous court order issued by Munley has put Hazleton's ordinance on hold since November. Today's decision is expected to be appealed to Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia.
Hundreds of the municipalities around the country - and at least two dozen in Northeastern Pennsylvania - have considered or enacted laws mimicking the Hazleton ordinance, believed to have been the first of its kind passed in the country.
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta proposed the ordinance in response to the high-profile May 10, 2006, murder of 29-year-old Derek Kichline, allegedly shot in the head by two illegal immigrants. But charges in the case were dropped earlier this month.
While many Hazleton residents applauded Barletta's stance, much of the city's large Latino population - estimated to be about 10,000 and growing - immediately reacted in protest, gathering on the steps of city hall the night the ordinance passed wearing shirts reading, "I'm Hispanic, not a criminal."
The American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups challenged the ordinance in federal court on behalf of several residents and community groups, arguing it would lead to civil rights violations against Latinos and conflict with the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration.
During the trial in March, Barletta, who was catapulted to nationally prominence when he proposed the ordinance in June 2006, testified that his city is besieged by gangs, graffiti and crime because of illegal immigrants. He acted for the good of all legal residents, he has said.
"I'm disappointed the judge didn't realize this city needs to defend itself," said Barletta, who had not yet seen Munley's opinion this afternoon but was about to meet with his legal team to "digest" the decision.
In his decision, Munley contended that all people must be protected regardless of their legality. The ordinance could harm legal residents of the community as well, he ruled.
"The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public," he wrote. "Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community."
As he has in the past, Barletta vowed again this afternoon to appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I'm not ready to lose," he said. "We're not only fighting for Hazleton. We are fighting for cities across the country."
For continuous updates on the ruling in the Hazleton illegal immigration case, check www.standardspeaker.com throughout the day.
Of course this was not unexpected. Now the real fight begins...see you in court, ACLU.
Munley, sympathy has nothing to do with this case, you weasel. A pox on you and your house.
- Back to our regular broadcast -
Illegal Immigration - States Step Up To The Plate
h/t Official Website of the United States Air Force
U.S.-MEXICO BORDER -- Cows look on benignly as 917th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen use steel to build a fence along the border.
Border reform not a priority for Democrats
The Washington TimesThis is good news. Capitol Hill is coming down with a prolonged bout of constipation. Now, as local government across America begins to deal with the unwanted illegal aliens in their midst, the states will begin to weigh in, and set up state standards for denying benefits to them and begin cooperating with law enforcement to send 'em home.
By Stephen Dinan
July 25, 2007
Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, an architect of the Democratic campaign that regained control of the House last year, says his party will not attempt comprehensive immigration reform until at least the second term of a prospective Democratic president.
The congressman's statement was reported by a Hispanic activist and confirmed by Mr. Emanuel. "Congressman Rahm Emanuel said to me two weeks ago, there is no way this legislation is happening in the Democratic House, in the Democratic Senate, in the Democratic presidency, in the first term," Juan Salgado, board chairman of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) at its annual convention last weekend.
Order of business: Orderly deportation of illegal aliens who have convictions or drug connections, and who constitute a clear and present danger to US citizens. Next, reducing the numbers of illegals who have settled into drug-infested barrios across America will probably take state statutes dealing with recalcitrant employers to make sticking around unattractive.
Denying free medical care and free schools, along with harsh employer sanctions are key to this united effort to clean up America.
Grassroots mobilization to bolster local anti-illegal alien laws, similar to the rallying cry of the anti-Islam takeover groups, will go a long way toward inducing state legislators to make a similar stand. State legislators want to get re-elected, too, and once the grassroots movement gets legs of its own, the state legislators in many states will not risk getting thrown out on their bums. It will also be up to the people to throw out the city councils who declare themselves a "sanctuary city", as the citizens did in Herndon, Virginia in May, 2006, and the mayor in Hazelton, Pa. The states are already feeling pressured to put the kabosch on cities like New Haven, Conn. And they are coming though.
In September of 1996, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) added Section 287(g) to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA). Section 287(g) gives eligible local law enforcement officers the opportunity to receive “cross-designation” training in illegal immigration enforcement techniques.Local politicians are already beginning to take advantage of the training and the cooperation with ICE which, though it may not be able to tackle illegal immigration alone, as it was intended to, with section 287(g)local law enforcement will have a tactic which is already in place, and has been in place for eleven years, thus standing the test of time. Section 287(g) already has legs of its own.
The politicians are not going to send the illegal aliens home without some compelling reason. All politicians have two priorities above all others: to get re-elected and stay in office. 12 - 20 million potential voters - who really knows? - but too many warm Hispanic bodies for Congress to risk offending with such drastic legislation. Until Americans learn to stand up, and demand action against illegal immigration, the federal politicians will sit tight. Especially a Democrat-controlled Congress.
I realize many Hispanics want immigration laws enforced for the same reason as any other US citizen. But Congress will not want to stop and do a reality-check within the Hispanic community (whatever that is). My point is, the last thing the politicians want is to create such a dividing line within Hispanics.
But though politicians renege on their duty to send 'em packing, they will be loathe to try to torpedo the move toward securing our border with Mexico. Such a move would have disastrous repercussions for those wanting to get re-elected. Then perhaps in a few years, order can be restored.
It will not easy, but America will come out stronger in the long run.
And the leftist judges, who have already assigned illegal immigrants, ipso facto, the status of victim hood, will work diligently to rule in their favor. Make no mistake - the leftist judges will have to be dealt with. And not just federal courts, either - state judges are also responsible for destroying America. But at least at the state level, our voices are being heard, as the next article confirms.
And let us not forget EOIR, which is convoluted "justice" at its worst.
States may take up immigration fight
Results could range from harsh penalties to 'sanctuary cities'
Saturday, June 30, 2007
By Dave Montgomery
WASHINGTON -- The collapse of congressional efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is expected to dramatically accelerate an effort by state and local governments to take matters into their own hands to deal with the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.
The result, advocates on both sides of the issue say, could be a patchwork of laws and ordinances with vastly different approaches -- ranging from measures that harshly penalize illegal immigrants and their employers to the spread of "sanctuary cities" that prohibit police from questioning suspects about their immigration status.
"There's going to be a barrage of local laws dealing with immigration policy," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a leading sponsor of a White House-backed immigration bill that stalled in the Senate this week. "In some areas of the country, it will be sanctuary. In other areas of the country, if you look at someone who looks illegal, you can lose your business license."
Senators voted 46-53 against a procedural motion Thursday to move toward a final vote on the bill, effectively killing -- at least for now -- a years-long push to repair what has long been assailed as a broken immigration system. The outcome dealt an embarrassing defeat to President Bush, who has made overhauling immigration law his top domestic priority.
Frustrated over what they perceive as federal foot-dragging, state and local governments already have been stepping up with remedies that range from punitive to protective, a trend that is almost certain to escalate in the void that Congress left.
"If Congress is going to abdicate its responsibilities, then states and cities are going to jump in," said John Gay, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association and leader of a business coalition that backed the failed Senate bill. "One of the arguments for opposing state and local proposals is that Congress is addressing it. We don't have that anymore."
As of April, state legislators in all 50 states had introduced at least 1,169 bills and resolutions about immigration this year -- more than twice the number introduced last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many fell by the wayside, but others made their way into law, underscoring the public's growing intolerance of federal inaction.
Oklahoma lawmakers recently enacted a law that cuts off illegal immigrants' access to driver's licenses and many government benefits. A 6-month-old Colorado law prevents employers from hiring illegal immigrants and requires them to affirm the legal status of employees.
Cities and towns also have gotten into the act. Farmers Branch, a Dallas suburb, drew national attention by enacting an ordinance that bans landlords from renting to illegal immigrants; the ban is being challenged in court. The town council of another Texas community -- Oak Point, northwest of Dallas -- narrowly approved a resolution declaring English the official language.
Other states and municipalities have displayed a more welcoming atmosphere. In the Cuban-American stronghold of South Florida, two cities and Miami-Dade County have embraced resolutions calling on the federal government to stop deporting undocumented immigrants.
Thirty-two cities and counties in 16 states -- including San Francisco, Austin, Texas, Houston and Seattle -- have adopted "sanctuary policies" protective of undocumented immigrants, according to the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress.
With congressional leaders predicting that there will be no federal action on immigration at least through the rest of Mr. Bush's presidency, conservative lawmakers in more than half the states are readying legislation to crack down on illegal immigration and enable local officers to enforce immigration laws.
A group called State Legislators for Legal Immigration announced its creation last month to form "a unified front" against employers who hire illegal immigrants, said its founder, Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry. Legislators from 30 states have joined the organization and will introduce similar bills in an attempt to "shut off the economic faucet" -- employment -- that draws illegal immigrants to the United States, Metcalfe said.
The Texas legislature considered dozens of bills related to immigration during its recently ended session, but nearly all of them died. But Texas state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, who introduced legislation challenging the citizenship rights of children born in the United States to illegal immigrants, said he expected a more receptive mood when state lawmakers go back to work in January 2009. "I can assure you there will be a lot of legislation dealing with illegal aliens in Texas," Mr. Berman said.
Many state legislatures are out of session, but the business coalition's Mr. Gay expects immigration to emerge in "full force" when they get back to work. He said business groups were monitoring more than 100 bills that would affect business.
Kathleen Walker, a lawyer in El Paso, Texas, and president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said her organization was braced for a flood of punitive bills in what she called a "knee-jerk" reaction to the Senate's refusal to complete work on the immigration bill. She said the prevailing attitude among state lawmakers now was, "OK, they can't fix it. We will."
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