The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Clinton appointee rules against Hazleton, PA Anti-Illegal immigrant measure
For those who have not heard, a Federal judge--appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton--and with absolutely no understanding of the concept of Federalism has ruled that a law passed by the Pennsylvania town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania which fines landlords and businesses who violate immigration laws "unconstitutional." As if a judicial activist even understands what the Constitution is... :
Meanwhile, Fred Thompson was very quick to post his reaction to this travesty; and every time I read something he says, I like the man more and more:
A federal judge on Thursday struck down the city of Hazleton’s tough crackdown on illegal immigrants, ruling unconstitutional a law that has been emulated by towns and cities around the nation.
The Illegal Immigration Relief Act sought to impose fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. Another measure would have required tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit.
It was pushed by Hazleton’s Republican mayor last summer after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting…
More than 90 communities across the U.S., frustrated by the Congressional impasse on dealing with illegal immigrants, have considered or approved measures similar to Hazleton’s. U.S. District Judge James Munley’s ruling does not affect those measures.
Most Americans want something to be done about the illegal immigration problem we have in this country. They’ve been expecting the federal government to enforce the immigration laws already on the books. The federal government hasn’t done that, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the governments closest to the people – municipal and state – are looking to take action. This is an entirely proper role for these governments.
Back in 2006, the citizens of Hazleton, Penn., were noticing some troubling signs resulting from an influx of illegal immigrants. They were seeing an uptick in the number of murders, an increase in drug-related crimes and a school district bursting at its seams. In fact the English as a Second Language program reportedly went from $500 a year in 2001 to more than $1 million a year today. The citizens of Hazleton demanded that something be done, and the Illegal Immigration Relief Act was introduced by the mayor and supported by the city council by a vote of 4 to 1.
Let’s be clear about what’s going on here. No matter what some groups may be trying to do to muddy the water and portray Hazleton’s law as something playing to an uglier agenda, this law is not about legal immigration. This law is about dealing with the illegal immigration problem in Hazleton. The town’s mayor and city officials made this clear from the beginning, and it seems like they took a common sense approach.
Our constitutional system allows cities to take reasonable steps to protect their citizens. When the federal government is unwilling to enforce immigration laws effectively, then cities need to be able to act, and take reasonable steps to secure their citizens from the social, financial, and criminal costs of illegal immigration.No doubt, this ruling will be appealed. And it should be.