FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Supreme Court Voids Ruling Against Hazleton’s Immigration Law
The tide is turning in the battle over illegal immigration.
It appears that last month’s Supreme Court ruling upholding Arizona’s E-Verify law will precipitate a potent counteroffensive against the illegal immigration judicial defense industry.
In light of the Court’s 5-3 decision validating the right of state and local governments to impose penalties on employers who hire illegal aliens, the high court vitiated a ruling against a similar ordinance passed by government officials in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
In 2006, following a sharp spike in violent crime perpetrated by illegal aliens, Mayor Lou Barletta (now a Republican congressman) signed an ordinance prohibiting landlords from renting to illegals and employers from hiring them. Under the Hazleton Immigration Relief Act, renters and employers who failed to verify the immigration status of renters and employees would face fines or suspension of business and rental licenses. This law was the impetus for dozens of subsequent efforts by states and municipalities to curb their growing illegal immigration problem.
Hazleton was challenged with well funded legal action by an unholy alliance of the ACLU, special interest legal defense groups, and the Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, the law was struck down by a federal district judge on the premise that the law was preempted by federal immigration law (Hazleton v. Lozano (10-772)). Last September, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s preemption argument against Hazleton. Today, the Supreme Court voided the Appellate Court’s ruling and remanded the case to the Philadelphia-based court for further review. This from Fox News:
The case will now be sent back to the Third Circuit with instructions to review the matter given the court’s ruling in a nearly identical case that a closely divided court resolved in May. That decision said Arizona could pass laws revoking the business licenses of employers who willfully hired illegals.
Both cases focused on the compulsory use of the federal E-Verify database, which tracks the immigration status of millions of people. The high court, in a 5-3 ruling, said state governments can force the use of the system even though Congress has never mandated its use.
Today’s ruling is a very salient victory for supporters of our sovereignty and the rule of law. Hazleton was one of the earlier battlegrounds in the fight against illegal immigration and has inspired many other local governments to complete the job that the federal government refuses to do.
Unfortunately, fifth columnists in this country, led by the ACLU, employed a strategy to deter other states and municipalities from enforcing immigration laws. Beginning with Hazleton, these affluent and belligerent public interest law groups, funded by the unlimited resources of radical philanthropists, filed lawsuits against every municipality which sought to protect its residents from the vices of illegal immigration.
Most local governments lack the sufficient funds to fend off costly and lengthy lawsuits from those with unlimited resources and nothing to lose. Additionally, due to the inevitable injunctions that were issued against the enforcement laws during the judicial process, they have been forced to wait 4-5 years just for their laws to take effect. This served as a deterrent for other localities that desired to enact similar legislation.
We are now seeing a turning point in the battle for our right to self determination against foreign invaders. The Supreme Court’s unequivocal endorsement of state enforcement of immigration law will now provide inviolable case law for lower courts to use in upholding local E-Verify ordinances. The latest rulings from the Supreme Court will pave the road for future ACLU lawsuits to be tossed out early and often and condemned as frivolous lawsuits.
These virtuous rulings from the highest court in the land could not come at a better time. Following historic victories during last year’s midterm elections, newly bolstered Republican majorities in state legislatures across the country are seeking to crack down on illegal immigration. They are passing laws which mirror the employer enforcement law of Hazleton as well Arizona’s SB 1070, authorizing local law enforcement to combat illegal immigration. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in recent years, well over 1,000 immigration related bills have been introduced in state legislatures each year. Georgia and Alabama are the latest battlegrounds in the fight for state enforcement of immigration law.
The lawsuits against E-verify laws are all but dead now, while the success of lawsuits against SB 1070-style legislation is pending review from the Supreme Court. Judging from the Court’s categorical rejection of the preemption argument in the E-verify case, the prognosis for SB 1070 seems quite promising.
The tide is clearly turning in the battle over illegal immigration, and the ACLU is on the wrong side. Those who seek full-time employment subverting our immigration laws, might want to search for a different line of work; possibly a job that most normal patriotic Americans would do. Their defense of the indefensible will stop at the Supreme Court this year.
The Republican presidential candidates must reject the naysayers in the party establishment and run strongly and intrepidly on the illegal immigration issue. It is clearly a winning issue with the broad electorate.
As we continue to succeed in taking control of our immigration system from unaccountable and officious lawyers, we should borrow the rallying cry of Sam Houston during the incipient years of our border wars: “remember Hazleton!”