The case against Hazleton, Pennsylvania headed to closing arguments on day 9 in Lozano v. City of Hazleton.
If you haven't been following the trial you can read all of my daily recaps of the case, the players and testimony at the Hazleton Archive.
The case was brought by the ACLU, Puerto Rican Defense and Education Fund and illegal aliens on the constitutionality of the Illegal Immigration Relief Act and is being held at the William J. Nealon Federal Building in Scranton, Pennsylvania with US District Judge James Munley on the bench. The act would fine landlords who rent to illegal aliens and yank the business licenses of those who hire them.
Hazleton has received $200,000 from people across the country to defend itself in court against the larger national groups. Plaintiffs have 25 attorneys, Hazleton has 5. Over eight days, 21 witnesses and 8 city officials testified.
A massive amount of information has been filed in the case including 30 page "briefs", expert reports, resumes, government publications, statistics, laws cited and other documents that fill 10 half-foot thick notebooks. Over 50 volumes in all. In addition, a 3 1/2 hour presentation on DVD from University of California at Irvine sociology professor Ruben Rumbaut wherein he states that “National studies show that illegal immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than other groups.”, which was conveniently released around the time the trial started.
Illegal Aliens "Scapegoats", Discrimination Now Abounds
Witold "Vic" Walczak
Vic Walczak, ACLU
, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, made the closing arguments for the plaintiffs in the case saying that illegal aliens had been made the "scapegoats" for all things wrong in the city. His closing arguments focused on the emotional aspect of the ordinance. Included in this emotional plea was the ACLU lawyer quoting from the book of Leviticus in the Bible
on the "scapegoat".
Walczak claims the city is exaggerating the crime statistics and blaming them on newly arrived immigrants (both legal and illegal) from Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. In fact Walczak said, crime has actually gone down in relation to the population increase. In addition he said that legal immigrants in the city are now facing discrimination due to the act.
"The mayor says he doesn't need figures," Walczak said. "The truth is he doesn't want the figures because they don't support the story he wants to tell."
Walczak said that the federal government should be the only one to enforce immigration laws because it is complex and that ordinances, like Hazleton's, should not be allowed because they may violate the rights of innocent people.
Walczak pointed to two recent judges rulings against city immigration ordinances in Escondido, Calif., and Valley Park, Mo. as reasons this ordinance too should be struck down as unconstitutional.
He said that Hazleton and Mayor Lou Barletta's views are shared by “a small category of anti-immigration groups.”
“There’s no doubt the mayor’s PR campaign, the passing of the ordinance has been received as promoting hostility toward all immigrants,” he said
Walczak also said that the plaintiffs in the case Jose and Rosa Lechuga, Rudy Espinal, Pedro Lozano, three illegal immigrants and one immigrant, who is "unsure of his immigration status", all have jobs, pay their taxes and have children who are U.S. citizens.
“Their experts … did everything possible to inflate the cost of illegal immigration. They didn’t look at the benefits,” Walczak said.
The Lechugas were discredited earlier in the case when they admitted that the ordinance wasn't what caused their business to fail, but poor business decisions and that their business was already failing before the ordinance was even proposed. Espinal, head of the Hazleton Hispanic Business Association, could not prove that the act is the reason for any business slowdown. In fact the ordinance was never enacted once it was passed because of Judge Munleys restraining order. As for the three illegal aliens and one "unsure" illegal alien, they are illegal, they should not expect to remain here free of scrutiny.
Walczak also said that even with the City Council revisions of the ordinance it still provides little if any protections for employers and tenants from false claims. "On the surface, it might make the situation better,” Walczak said “In reality, it’s not significant."
I would just like to counter this point Walczak made by saying there is no ordinance in the United States protected against false claims. If you call the police saying your neighbor is blasting their radio when they're not, there are no protections. There are other laws on the books that deal with harassment, such as false claims, and I don't see why they would need to be included in every ordinance in this country.
"Undocumented or illegal immigrants are real people with families and children. Real harm will come to them if this ordinance is enacted," Walczak said
We must protect the illegal aliens!
"Hazleton is like a boat in danger of sinking. Every illegal alien drags it down"
Kris Kobach, Hazleton
Hazleton attorney Kris Kobach
made the closing arguments for the city and said that he was "not going to waste the court’s time with a story ... I'm going to go straight to the law and plug in the facts where appropriate,”, making a technical closing argument that reinforces that the ordinance doesn't conflict. He quoted data presented in the case showing that of the 31,000 residents in Hazleton 1,500 to 3,500 are illegal aliens, as many as 10 percent of the population. He noted that these lawbreakers pay little to nothing in taxes and burden the city's services.
He also pointed out the increase in violent crime and street gangs, the crowded schools and hospitals all as reasons for putting in place the ordinance. Kobach said that while illegal aliens aren't the sole reason for the problems in the city, they are a main contributor.
"Hazleton is like a boat in danger of sinking. Every illegal alien drags it down." Kobach said.
Kobach also said that no actions would be taken against businesses and landlords before first verifying with federal databases that there were in fact illegal aliens renting from them or working for them.
Kobach pointed out other state laws, such a Virginia law that bars illegal immigrants from attending state-owned universities, as proof that Hazleton can implement local laws as long as they are consistent with federal laws.
He also stated that constitution and legal precedent allow Hazleton to enforce immigration laws “concurrently” with federal law through regulating licenses of businesses and that the city’s ordinance is also consistent with a federal statute forbidding the harboring of illegal immigrants.
Kobach then went into pointing out that the Luchugas were losing money before the ordinance was proposed, that landlords who gave testimony were only speculating on why tenants didn't rent from them and that a 10th Circuit Court found that an immigrant became illegal “on the date a status violation becomes effective.”, not when an immigration judge made a decision on their status. Comparing it to Driving Under the Influence Kobach said "It doesn’t matter how carefully you drive … you’re guilty the entire time you’re in that state,"
Outside The Courthouse
Mayor Lou Barletta
Mayor Lou Barletta
said he was angered by the ACLU's defense of lawbreakers and by Mr. Walczak's attempt to minimize vicious crimes committed by people who had no right to be in Hazleton or the United States.
Barletta said that the real victims, like Derek Kichline who was murdered by illegal aliens, have been forgotten.
"A 6-year-old girl was raped by an illegal alien," Mr. Barletta said. "I wonder what he would say about these ordinances if it was his daughter."
“I totally disregard any of their comments about us not having enough crime statistics,” said Mayor Lou Barletta “If the ordinance could have stopped one crime and that would have been the rape of a 6-year-old girl by an illegal immigrant, that would be enough for me.”
Plaintiff's attorney Foster Maer, of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, said that if Hazleton's ordinances are enforced, "we'll have complete chaos with every town having its own foreign policy."
Decision Not Expected For 2 Months?!
Earlier on I had reported that Judge Munley would have a decision in weeks, now it seems like that has been changed to 2 months which would put it somewhere at the end of May. Judge Munley said it will take a court stenographer three weeks to prepare court transcripts. Judge Munley called the case “very convoluted,” with numerous legal issues to be resolved. He will accept additional written arguments from each side until May 5.
The decision that Judge Munley makes will set precedent for all the other cities and towns in this country who have either already passed a similar ordinance or are contemplating putting one in place.
Case Headed To U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia
No matter the outcome of the case, both sides have said they will appeal. That would bring the Hazleton case to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia and it is expected that it will eventually reach the US Supreme Court.
My Comments On The Closing Arguments
It is telling that Vic Walczak would use an emotional basis for his closing arguments. Those against enforcing laws against illegal aliens know that they have no foot to stand on in the legal arena and have to fall back on attempting to tug at people's heart strings. They know they are in the wrong and have no other choice.
Kris Kobach's choice to avoid emotion and go straight for the technical nature of the case was brilliant. Knowing that they are within the laws of the land - because they are complementing and not superseding federal laws regarding immigration - it was smart to stick to that alone.
There's really nothing more I can say on the closing arguments. The ACLU used the same tired arguments that proponents of illegal aliens use. Racist groups like MEChA, La Raza and MALDEF, who could care less about any people except those who are brown, will do anything in their power to bring down our government and the American people under the guise of goodness.
Did they prove the ordinance was unconstitutional? I don't think so.
And if you think my coverage has been biased, at least I've tried to present both sides of the issue, even though I am open and honest that I think the ACLU and the plaintiffs are wrong on the the ordinance being unconstitutional.
Check out this ACLU press release on the case where they state
The two-week trial revealed that Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and city officials rushed to scapegoat undocumented immigrants for several of the city’s burdens, despite evidence to the contrary
Be sure to check out the recap of the other days of coverage in my Hazleton Archive
Hazleton needs funding. You can donate to their legal defense fund at Small Town Defenders. Their case could set the stage for reduced illegal immigration throughout this country, so donate today!
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 1; Times-Leader: 1; Baltimore Sun: 1; Times Tribune: 1; Hazleton Standard Speaker: 1 2
Life in America
I was watching one of your members in headline prime with Glenn Beck on CNN. On or about two week's ago; and, I saw you guys making all these comments about the subject (immigration) and Mexicans, putting the entire blame on 80% illegal immigrant’s being from there, etc. WELL I THINK YOU ARE WRONG, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY EUROPEAN ANGLO AND CAUCUS INCLUDING CRIMINALS ARE HERE ILLEGALLY? AND , have you asked yourself about how lame and good for nothing are most Americans to do basic labor work, and how messy and negligent and lazy to do the basic jobs that Mexicans do for them because they can't do it for their own self’s. Either because they have a superiority complex or it just runs in their Anglo or Caucasian blood. I mean I excuse the THE BLACKS because they claim that they already did all the work they had coming for them and more and, because the bad whites abused them for too long. What is the excuse for not working and why do you refuse to do the work that Mexicans do for you. I mean what is so wrong with picking oranges or lettuce, mapping floors, etc. if you are too special to not do these jobs, stop complaining why there is too many people here wanting to take your jobs. Go ahead and start hiring whites or blacks to do these jobs to see what happens. Right? Additionally the (ORIENTALS) are the main immigration problem here in the states and America. There are about 1.7 billion of Chinese alone not including the other Orientals of the Pacific Rim. And if you didn’t know, that is the fastest growing population in the US and America. They just keep coming, it is invasion time and you guys are just opening your legs to them. so, obviously they are also taking your jobs, your man or women and of course your houses too, but you are so stupid being busy blaming the poor illiterate people of Mexico that come to fill the gaps. Come on wake up and smell the coffee man. But believe me I don't hate or blame the white race for all of our problems in fact, I give them credit for still having control. I even hate what some Mexicans do, Criminals for example. Just as whites, Chinese, blacks etc. but I do not generalize, there are exceptions of course there is a lot of good people. I’d say the majority is. Anyway when I am in Mexico we, the Mexicans don’t give a crap about how you see the world because we have our own way of seeing It., in other words it is a very big planet and it just doesn't belong to you. And you call this place America and you are right and that is because you are the immigrants. And we call it our backyard or the U.S. as you should. WE have been here since the beginning and some of you are newcomers or second generation like most of you racist anti immigrant organizations. For example, Ray Herrera your national spokesperson of yours or The minuteman the organization of Hitler, kkk remnants of the nazy germany who fled to Italy,,argentinia and the US. a evil, and oppressed almost extinct race who are coming back using The beautiful US banner as yours, and using all these poor illiterate white, black Chinese and even Mexican people to believe in your stupidity, promoting hate. But We the real Americans are not going to allow that! You are going down and back to that same hole where you were, because that’s where you belong: in hiding! Ray is a complete idiot not to mention an illiterate and confused racist of Mexican origin. who is despised by his my own kind? And who needs to repent. And come back to his roots of eating Mexican food and going to mazatlan by the beach drinking a mexican beer. if he drinks. Now I admit we the Mexicans have some issues between us that need to be corrected and addressed. . Just to mention one. We the- non- white need to stop talking (shit) like blaming the white people for everything like the Blacks do or the minuteman just blaming the illegal immigrants. Because there is a lot of good white American people out there who have nothing to do with you. and are against you. just as there are a lot of us who do not like what some Mexicans do. We need to make changes here and in Mexico. We have to love Mexico because we are neighbors. I suggest that We can start, by, providing all these stupid Mexicans here who can’t speak Spanish some classes so they can be smarter and liked by their countryman. And likewise with the immigrants who can not speak English or don’t want to. or vice versa. We also have to give them some basic immigration law classes because most of them are ignorant about our US-MEXICO Immigration laws. Just because this country gave them a crossing card, visa, green card or naturalization doesn’t mean that they are Americans. They are still Mexicans according with our Constitution. Unless they have really mastered the English language along with a face change like, Michael Jackson. They will truly be Americans when they begin to participate in the change of attitude towards their their own co-nationals by participating in ways to change our governments here and in Mexico. Working hard in making this next immigration reform a success and not a failure for example. That’s one way we can start loving each other and have some togetherness. Because, there is a lot of separation and hate between ourselves, but is mostly ignorance. not only here in the U.S. but at home too. Is a country politically divided 50/50 just like the U.S. is? Mexicans talk shit all the time about their paisanos (countryman) from the south and vice versa: ( Chicanos, chilangos,fronterizos, nortenos, surenos, Indian, Spaniard, mestizos rich, poor, priistas, panistas, perredistas, and that is absolutely wrong and has to stop we are brothers and is a great time to come together. We need a reform not only in our government but within ourselves. We need to love one another. Now what about the central and South American, Puerto rico, Cuban, Hispanic from Spain. (Brothers) they are part of America too, and have similar differences and problems as (the Mexicans) WE have a lot of that garbage that we need to clean up. So before we can start changing others houses we have to begin with ours. And that applies to you too. (The US-Americans). You have to educate yourselves too. because is not only the illiterate Americans or Mexicans, or the poor who need some schooling but the ugly rich Mexicans & Americans who are so stupid, ignorant and illiterate about their surroundings; but from all other countries as well who have also invaded the U.S. because It’s safe heaven for them, for the protection that this country provides to rich people, therefore they get all these goodies for themselves and are welcome in our society because of their money even though most of them are and will always be second class citizens not matter how much money they get to spend here. And they also need some classes of patriotism, immigration, civics, biblical, American history, English, Spanish and of course Love to your mother Country. ( Mexican Traitors). And Not to mentioning their attitude against the poor and the indigenous peoples, blacks, and poor whites.
And what about your problems within yourselves if you are Irish, black, Chinese, European or any other? Does it ring your bell? Now I love the real American people the ones that made this country great that worked very hard and were righteous and deserved what they worked for. Including us of course. We are part of this mess too whether we like it or not, we even have some Mexicans dying stupidly in Iraq as we speak, so, that is just another issue isn’t. Anyway man got to go, but no hard feelings ok? Let’s keep working to solve our neighborly problems it is still a long way ahead of us.
It will continue…
A Mexican national.
I think you are a little confused. i don't even know who ray herrara
is and you did'nt see us on glenn beck.the only spokesman for us is
curtis collier. you must be talking about the minutemen which we have
nothing to do with. by the way 20% of our members are hispanic, take
the time to know who we are and what we believe and you may see like
they did that just because someone is against illegal immigration that
does'nt make them a racist. don't confuse a group of idiots with us.
we actually understand the need for immigrants and are'nt against
immigration. we simpley want it done thru a legal means where we knoe
who is in our country and what their intentions are.you do realize
that over 100,000 people where caught crossing the border from yeman,
egypt,saudi arabia, and even iraq last year. when people enter this
country i simpkley want to know if they are here to blow us up or
work. if they are here to work and come thru a legal process i could
care less if they come.
U.S. Border Watch
6046 F.M. 2920 suite 401
BORDER SECURITY IS NATIONAL SECURITY
My first job was newsboy and second was janitor in high school. I worked
on a farm for two years..shoveling shit and bailing hay. I drove semi
and hauled furniture in college. I know how to sweat.
The question for America is:
1. Name one advantage to Americans, as we allow 2-3 million unskilled
people into the country all of whom will work for half what an American
We have enough people to do the work they are doing w/ the possible
exception of pick lettuce. The employers of this country have been
cutting wages for 20 years, as they hire illegals to take the place of
native-born Americans. You offer 20/hour to pluck chickens and I will
guarantee there will be enough applicants.
Bush is about to allow Mexican truck drivers all over America and they
work for half of what an American driver makes. How is that good?
How many more would you allow into American? 10 -40 100 million? What
benefit is it to Americans? Do we have the housing? Schools? Roads,
Mexico is dumping their failed society and economy on my country and
wallet. We can't solve Mexico's over-population by bringing them here.
This country is now 9 Trillion dollars in debt. We are about to head
into a nasty recession.
My taxes are high enough already.
No hard feelings,
Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)
Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc)
Hablo espanol, je parle francais, Deutsch auch
Howard J. Wooldridge
1402 W. 7th Street
Frederick, MD 21702
The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful
consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the
incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending
No man in the wrong can stand up against a man in the right that keeps
on a coming. McDonald, Capt. Texas Rangers
Dear mr Russ:
I am sorry but I have to disagree with you on your census. 1 out of 3 is outrageously exagerated. they are convicted criminals according to the stupid DHS previously known as INS, if that's where you got your figures. because it is a felony to cross our border for your knowledge, just in case you didn't know that. sure we have lots of them who are criminals but the majority are good people and healthy who just need to be educated and helped by both of our governments., just as the many many millions of americans who still live in wild west times no to mention all of your sick criminals, mental cases, disabled, homeless, begars, homos, lesbians,illiterate,smokers,drug users, pedophiles,confused immigrant white wanna be including mexican, chinese, black etc.,and the list is enormous. the stupid pionered minuteman movement for example. and your country is allready invaded and there will be more orientals,africans,russians,and from every corner of the planet to the US and there is not much you can do. there is a price of course: your government is making billions of dollars every day. the money making machine DHS-INS charges fees throughout the globe and lure people who want to come to the american nightmare, however, most of them get denied and fees are not refundable and it just keeps pumping hard cash into their vaults. that's why mexicans cross illegally because they don't want to be ripped off. history has taught 'em a lesson. and historically the INS has failed them. just to end this up who is killing the innocent?....
Mr Salas, I couldn't disagree with you more.
The blame is projected toward the Mexican race for many good reasons. They for one, have entered the USA illegally and many, many of them 1out of every 3 who cross the borders are convicted criminals. Also they are discracing the structure of this country with not asslimating to our standards, by living in what seems to be poverty situations, bringing diseases back into this country and commiting felony crimes and killing innocent Americans everyday.
I have to say if you Sir would sit back and determine right from wrong, not black from white or brown from white as you see it, you would realize that strong Americans are beginning to stand up and are finally taking action that are worthless government refuse to do anything about.
Americans must and will take back their country one way or another, I promise you that!!!
And NO hard feelings, just opinion's and conversation.
Thank you, Russ Landry
I wonder if it was someone from NumbersUSA who you saw on the television. Our focus has always been on overall numbers and not specifically where immigrants or illegal aliens come from.
Our position is that the public policy issue is not whether immigrants and illegal aliens are good people or hard workers, but that the question should be "how many" do we need to maintain our national goals of sustainability and economic justice.
As for Americans not doing work, Americans do the majority of work in every industry except for agriculture. 25 million Americans are unemployed. We do not have a labor shortage, we have an overabundance of low-skilled labor, yet wages in these industries continue to fall or remain stagnant.
Here is our page on American workers: http://www.numbersusa.com/interests/amerworkers.html
Mass immigration often harms native-born and immigrant workers. It is a question of numbers.
All the best,
You will not win it is time. It is time for you to go down, because your brains aren’t quite functional as you can se and compare my article and your statements. Being evil makes you dumb!
It will continue. Is war. Long live the the cool and beautiful people of MEXICO!
Que ondas gonzalo como has estado, espero que bien, mira no se si te acuerdas pero soy un amigo tuyo y de checho carrillo me llamo victor salas y soy duranguense y nacionalista y mexicano de corazon, bueno para ser breve te escribo porque se que puedes poner este tema con los demas senadores y creo yo que es muy importante que sepan como estan las cosas por aca porque aunque no le tomen mucha importancia a lo que les sucede a los mexicanos en estados unidos es verdaderamente importante porque nosotros estamos peleando por ustedes aqui y por nuestro pais y nuestra dignidad. y creo que ustedes deben hacer lo mismo por nosotros en MEXICO. y creo que pelear por mexico no solo basta con querer hacer el cambio para los mexicanos en mexico sino tambien en los estados unidos porque EU es parte de mexico no geograficamente, pero si historicamente y porque somos vecinos y tenemos que ayudarnos mutuamente y trabajar con los gringos porque hay muchos buenos gringos aqui asi como tambien hay muchos buenos mexicanos en mexico. asi que nos interesa por todos los immigrantes y mexicanos e intereses en este pais que en cierta parte es nuestro, como dijo zapata la tierra es de quien la trabaja. asi que necesitamos de tu ayuda para que les hagas saber a todo el pueblo de mexico que aqui hay una guerra como alla y que tenemos que hacer algo, defendernos, porque estan ganandonos, son los mismos de alla de mexico los que estan unidos con todas estas organizaciones de anti-immigrantes y malos gringos: y esos ya los conocemos muy bien: politicos priistas y panistas, los que lo tienen todo, y no les afectan las deportaciones,las separaciones, los encarcelamientos, la discriminacion,explotacion y el sufrimiento del pueblo. y en mexico no hacen nada para detener estos movimientos legales e ilegales en contra del pueblo mexicano, y culpan al pobre, que termina como criminal al crucarse la frontera illegalmente porque no tuvo el dinero para cruzar legalmente obteniendo una visa por ejemplo. es muy triste y denigrante para mexico el ver como el pueblo sufre a manos de estos racistas, pro-nazis, kkk's, etc; y que estan usando el tema de los illegales para impulsarse y salir a flote como nunca se habia visto. y se unen y trabajan duro haciendo peticiones a sus congresistas y senadores y han tenido mucho exito y admito que nos llevan ventaja y se que es porque nosotros no estamos unidos y eso tiene que cambiar debemos unirnos en esto de reformar las leyes en estados unidos y mexico,porque si no al rato nos vamos a dividir todos. incluso el 20% de los miembros de estas masivas organizaciones son mexicanos algunos de origen mexicano. bueno espero que hagas algo al respecto y empecemos a pelear mas fuerte en contra de esta gente que sigue ignorando al pobre y miserable y no le brinda proteccion, educacion, y empleo y que la mayoria de nosotros que tuvimos que salir de mexico fue porque no tuvimos la misma suerte de ser prosperos en nuestro pais por varias razones que todos conocemos y sabemos.
bueno, me despido con un caluroso abrazo y afecto, sinceramente tu amigo, victor.
Posted by: victor on March 24, 2007 09:04 PM