In an expected result, at least to me, US District Judge James Munley ruled against the city of Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act in the case of Lozano v. City of Hazleton. The case was over the constitutionality of an ordinance that would fine landlords who rented to illegal aliens and businesses that hire them.
Mayor Lou Barletta
As I stated in my trial coverage of the Hazleton case
the complaintants, including the ACLU and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), didn't provided a good enough case that the ordinance was unconstitutional. Illegal aliens have no rights under the Constitution and cities like Hazleton have a right to pass their own ordinances for anything they choose. There are similar ordinances in scope, such as noise ordinances, that aren't being overruled by federal judges, though they may be presented as restricting the rights of the offender to freedoms.
The ruling comes down as strictly partisan in my eyes and is based on the beliefs of this judge and not on the constitutionality of the ordinance one bit.
Either way the ruling went, in favor of Hazleton or the plaintiffs, they had both stated that they would take it to the next level and all the way to the Supreme Court.
"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.
"Even if federal law did not conflict with Hazleton's measures, the city could not enact an ordinance that violates rights the Constitution guarantees to every person in the United States, whether legal resident or not," he added.
So the ruling seems not to state that the ordinance conflicts with federal immigration laws, but that the judge interprets the Constitution to include rights to illegal aliens. This is flawed logic in my opinion because illegal aliens have not sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is not a human rights document as US District Judge James Munley seems to think, but is the rule of law in this land. As illegal aliens are breaking the law they should be held accountable. If it takes a local jurisdiction to do so - and uphold the Constitution - then so be it.
U.S. District Judge James Munley said Hazleton, in northeastern Pennsylvania, was not entitled to implement a law that would impose fines on businesses that hire illegal immigrants and penalize landlords who rent rooms to them.
"Federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinances," Munley wrote in a 206-page opinion following a federal trial in which Hazleton's law was challenged by civil rights groups.
This case is expected to head downtown here to Philadelphia and I can guarantee I'll be out there when it comes here letting my voice be heard.
Hazleton needs your support! You can donate to their legal defense fund at Small Town Defenders
Freedom Folks who point out that the ordinance does not control or influence immigration, it simply cracks down on lawbreaking in their city.
"This is flawed logic in my opinion because illegal aliens have not sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. "
Gee, I was born in NYC, and I can't recall swearing to defend the Constitution of the US. ...
I think it is reasonable to not torture illegal aliens, and what the heck, why not give them all of the other rights of citizens (except maybe voting)? You know, sometimes people rise to the occasion.
Posted by: Pete from NYC on July 28, 2007 03:02 PM