Friday, July 27, 2007

Hazelton, Mayor Lou Barletta and Illegal immigrants

My first post on this subject asked Can a small city in Pennsylvania do something about illegal immigrants? Probably not but Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta is trying to make it an issue locally. Somehow I'm skeptical of his efforts. As far as I know only the federal government can make and enforce the immigration laws.

Today the Federal Court agreed with me. Simply put, the City of Hazleton exceeded it's authority. A small town in Pennsylvania cannot make immigration policy. Judge Munley cited the Supremacy clause of the Constitution (page 92 of the decision) to strike down the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.

CV: In his decision, Munley contends that all people must have their rights protected regardless of their legality. The ordinance could harm legal residents of the community as well, he ruled.
'“The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public,” he wrote. “Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community.”

For all the people who say keep saying "illegal is illegal" and think that immigrants don't have constitutional rights this is a lesson in civics. Everyone in the United States has rights. Not that any of you who think otherwise will bother to check it out.

In response to that I say unconstitutional is unconstitutional.

Danny and John have more and Slobby goes into detail.


Anonymous said...

"In response to that I say unconstitutional is unconstitutional."

I like this. I will use this.

pissed off patricia said...

Re t-shirt. Pick it up? I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

Saw the Barletta, boo whooing the fact that the plantiff's were anonymous. What did the straightforward mayor of Hazelton say when asked to disclose the donor list for small town defenders? He said NO. Lou is grandstanding and using hate and fear to fuel his ego and quest for higher office. He knew he would loose this, he intends to loose the appeal so he can get to the Supreme Court ande grandstand in the highest court in the land. The paper said today the his donations are at about 360,000. Well the legal fees Hazelton will have will be in excess of 2 million, remember they lost this round so they have to pay the plaintiff's fees, and each round he looses Hazelton will be stuck with the bill. Lou is so self righetous why doesn't he pledge some of his family's wealth in this fight? Answer it is easy to be a "hero" on someonelse's dime. Hazelton has about an 8 million dollar a year budget, their insurer has already stated they will not foot the bill. Even if small town defenders raises 1 million it still leaves Hazelton in the rears for at least another million. (at let's not forget if someone decides to go for civil damages) Is Lou Barletta really acting in the best interest off Hazelton? Of course not.
So far this act has been revised at least 6 times(it may be more like 10), it has been deemed unconstitutional and it has driven out tax paying citizens and businesses in Hazelton. Less taxes in, more monney out will result in bankruptcy for the city. 1 million is 1/8 of the cities annual budget. Is this the kind of Mayor any "small town" really needs?
Lou could have formed a lobbying oranization and headed it, gone after Congress and the Executive branch to pass and enforce true immigration control. He would have kept his profile high and followed the constitution to try and get control of illegal immigration, unfotunately his ego may cause a loss of more than the illegals he is trying to banish.
Again I ask, Lou why not put up your and your family's personal wealth to fight this battle? If your motives are genuine and your cause just and you win, you would get the money back from the plantiffs.
Kind of makes you go HUH??

Anonymous said...

So what is the criteria for checking on a persons status, anyone who speaks with an accent, has slightly darker skin, or different shaped features must show their papers? Is it appropriate to randomly harass a legal immigrant? Did our greatest president, Ronald Reagan bring down the Soviet Union only to have it revived in Hazleton?

Anonymous said...

So I gu ess in Lou Barletta's wordlthe constitution goes out the window when it comes to LEGAL immigrants and NATURALIZED CITIZENS. Because they look or speak differently they surrender their protection under the Fourth Amendment ---
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
**should we add unless you look or speak differently**?

Are we willing to toss this amendment to the wayside and violate the consititutional rights of LEGAL immigrants or LEGAL NATURALIZED CITIZENS? I guess in your United States those in this country who are citizens that speak with an accent and look different then the typical anglo natural born angelo american do not deserve constitutional protection. My God what has our country come to? Is this the kind of police state Lou Barletta has brought to our doors.

Anonymous said...

You people don,t get it. In another genaration or two there won,t be a United States of America, and that's a slap in the face of everyone who served this great country. Mayor Barletta is the only leader that has a pair. You know what I'm talking about, that's what built this country. Political correctness is nothing but bullshit.

Anonymous said...

This country was built on protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. This is not about political correctness this is about our Constitution. How will there not be a United States of America? Are you afraid the complexion of our people may change? Barletta has a pair? How much courage does it take to grand stand with other people's money? Did you ever see the video of the woman yelling at a legal, naturalized citizen at the Hazleton rally? How much courage does it take to feed fear and spew hatred? (gort perhaps you can find it and post it)

If the Native movement at the turn of the 19th century had it's way, John Kennedy never would have been President because Irish Catholics would have been turned around at Ellis Island.

If others so afraid of change had their way Alan Keys never would have served in the Reagan White House.

If those who opposed women's suffrage had their way Libby Dole never would have been a U.S. Senator.

There are many solutions to the immigration problems that do not require the destruction of the bedrock of our great republic. The answers is NOT for local municipalities to ignore the U.S. Constitution. The answer is NOT to harass legal immigrants and naturalized citizens because of the color of their skin or accent in their speech. Is it just, is it proper to tell people to come to our country and follow our rules, but not provide them the protection of our laws? Do we tell the legal immigrants and naturalized citizens --If you come here legally and take the steps to become a citizen you will be subject to unreasonable search and seizure, you can be stopped any time and asked to produce your papers? If you want to buy a donut you have to show ID? If you need emergency medical care, we will only save your life if you can provide documentation? It is cliche but 2 wrongs don't make a right.
This not about political correctness. This is about the bedrock of our republic, we are a nation of laws, those laws are based upon the U.S. Constitution, if the Constitution has no meaning then our laws have no meaning. Immigration enforcement is the role of the executive branch of our federal government. It is up to us to elect those who do their job and enforce our laws, If they do not then we must make a change through the elective process. I as much as anyone wants us to control our borders, I want us to stem the tide of illegal immigration. But I also want us to protect the rights o those who followed the laws to come here the right way. I want us to protect the rights of those who took the steps and worked towards becoming naturalized citizens. I do not want those who followed the rules, obeyed the laws and actually studied and worked to earn their citizenship to become collateral damage in one man's pursuit of higher office.
It is so easy to toss aspersions and blame at those who don't look like us, who don't speak like us. It is easy cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. It is much more difficult to follow the laws, follow the constitution and defend democracy. The Pledge of Allegiance ends with, "and liberty and justice for all." not for all those who speak in perfect english, not for all those whose skin color is an identical match.
Illegal immigration is a problem much deeper than a catch phrase. It will take serious deliberate people who love their country and their republic more than their ambitions to solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

I welcome change. Alan Keys had my vote. The bottom line is the word illegal alien. It means someone living in a country without authorization from the government. I don't know about, but I work pretty hard for my money and I don't want my tax payments going to someone who hasen't entered here the correct way, that's all.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the illegal part, unfortunately Lou Barletta's short sighted ordinance violates the 4th amendment for legals, let alone the what Munley points out in his decision. Legal immigrants will be suspect and are open to abuse and violation of their rights under Barletta's bogus law.
I have no problem with federal immigration reform and enforcement. I have a problem with a political opportunist who doesn't see past his own future and has no grasp or concept of the negative ramifications, let alone the unconstitutionality of what he or she is doing. Do we really want someone who does not understand the Constitution in a federal office?
The responsibility of immigration enforcement is the Feds for many reasons. One important reason is to protect legal immigrants and naturalized citizens.

I think we can agree illegal immigration must be curbed, controled and halted, but it must be done within the bounds of our Constitution. If we don't respect the Constitution we loose the entire foundation of our country