Friday, May 24, 2024

Anti-immigrant Ordinances in Pennsylvania Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled two Hazelton, Pennsylvania, anti-immigrant ordinances unconstitutional.

The Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance passed by Hazelton in 2006 would have fined landlords who rented to undocumented immigrants and would have penalized companies that employed them.  Another law would require tenants to prove they were citizens or lawful residents, register with the city and pay for a rental permit in order to receive an occupancy permit.

Other cities have also passed similar legislation.  Before the laws could go into effect, a U.S. District Court found them unconstitutional in 2007 saying Hazleton cannot enact any ordinances dealing with illegal immigration because they conflict with the supremacy clause of the U.S. constitution.

“Today’s decision makes the Third Circuit the most liberal court in America on immigration issues,” Lou Barletta, Hazelton’s mayor, said. “This ruling is a loss for Hazleton and its legal residents.”

The ruling yesterday by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was praised by the Americans Civil Liberties Union, who hailed it as “a major victory in the fight against state and local anti-immigration.”

The attorney representing the city of Hazleton, Kris Kobach, has stated that he plans to appeal the case and is ready to take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary

As reported in the past several months on La Plaza, Kris Kobach, is the seemingly unknown face behind SB 1070 and almost every other similar local and state level anti immigration ordinance.  Funded by the right-wing, Kobach, a former George W. Bush Administration appointee, is making a name for himself pursuing a national anti-immigrant agenda .  A candidate for Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach enjoys the support of such notables as Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  


Kris Kobach