Friday, September 10, 2010

Pa. mayor to take immigration law to Supreme Court

This judgment is judicial rubbish: "Act usurped the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration". How does it do that? It does not stop the Feds from doing anything. It just dictates how illegals are to be treated once they have already arrived in the locality.

Americans are very poorly served by their courts

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hazleton, Pa., may not enforce its crackdown on illegal immigrants, dealing another blow to 4-year-old regulations that inspired similar measures around the country. The city's mayor pledged to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said that Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act usurped the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration. "It is ... not our job to sit in judgment of whether state and local frustration about federal immigration policy is warranted. We are, however, required to intervene when states and localities directly undermine the federal objectives embodied in statutes enacted by Congress," wrote Chief Judge Theodore McKee.

Appeals courts are split on whether states and municipalities have the right to enforce laws dealing with immigration. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over a 2007 Arizona law that prohibits employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Hazleton, a northeastern Pennsylvania city of more than 30,000, had sought to fine landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. A companion measure required prospective tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit.

Mayor Lou Barletta had pushed the measures in 2006 after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting. The Republican mayor, now mounting his third try for Congress, argued that illegal immigrants brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city of more than 30,000 and overwhelmed police, schools and hospitals.

"Hazleton was the first, and became the symbol of hope for many around the country," he said at a news conference after the ruling was released by the appeals court on its website.

"Since I proposed this law more than four years ago, we have seen the growing frustration all across the country," he said, a nod to similar measures in Arizona, Farmers Branch, Texas and Valley Park, Mo.

"This frustration is not going away and it will not go away until the federal government finally secures our borders and cracks down on illegal immigration," he added.

Barletta took no questions but pledged to take the case to the Supreme Court. "Today's decision by the 3rd Circuit Court is not unexpected. I'm not disillusioned by this ruling," Barletta said. "We knew this would not be the last stop on our journey."

Hispanic groups and illegal immigrants sued to overturn the measures, and a federal judge struck them down following a trial in 2007. The laws have never been enforced. "This is a major defeat for the misguided, divisive and expensive anti-immigrant strategy that Hazleton has tried to export to the rest of the country," ACLU attorney Omar Jadwat said in a statement.

Hazleton's act was copied by dozens of municipalities around the nation that believe the federal government hasn't done enough to stop illegal immigration.

The crux of the debate has now shifted to Arizona and its strict new law, passed this year, that's also being challenged in court; among other things, it requires police to question the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.

In the Hazleton case, the appeals court said the city's ordinances conflict with federal immigration law and thus are pre-empted. The employment provision could lead to discrimination against "those perceived as foreign," the court said, while the effort to prevent illegal immigrants from living in Hazleton ignores that it is the federal governments' prerogative to decide who stays and who goes.

The city's law, for example, could force out a college student the federal government has declined to remove, or a battered spouse who could be eligible to stay in the United States under protections afforded by Congress, according to the unanimous decision.

Kris Kobach, a law professor and political candidate in Kansas who worked with Hazleton on its ordinance and represented the city at trial, said Thursday that the 3rd Circuit ignored Supreme Court precedent regarding pre-emption. "It's going to be difficult for this opinion to stand. The court really had to stretch to find a way to agree with the ACLU," said Kobach, who also helped draft Arizona's immigration law.

Hispanic immigrants began settling in large numbers in Hazleton several years ago, lured from New York, Philadelphia and other cities by cheap housing, low crime and jobs in nearby factories and farms. The city, 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia, estimates its population increased by more than 10,000 between 2000 and 2006.


Canadian view of immigration sours in wake of Tamil ship

The Tamils are such blatant frauds. They journeyed across two oceans when all they needed to do to get "asylum" was take a one-hour trip across the Palk strait to India

Canadian attitudes toward immigration are hardening as debate over the fate of a shipload of Tamils continues to make headlines, a new survey suggests.

An Angus Reid online poll says 46 per cent of Canadians believe immigration is having a negative effect on the country, a five-point increase from August, 2009. This compares to 34 per cent of the poll respondents who believe it is having a positive effect, a decrease of three points since last August.

Not only that, almost half – or 44 per cent – of the 1,007 polled believe illegal immigrants take jobs away from Canadian workers, compared to 38 per cent who think that they are employed in jobs Canadians don’t want.

The poll was conducted Sept. 2 and 3. For the past month there has been much publicity surrounding the arrival of the MV Sun Sea from Thailand. The fate of the 492 Tamil passengers remains unclear, The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that one man has been detained because of suspected links to the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization.

The Harper government has repeatedly suggested terrorists are among the passengers on board. A week after the ship arrived, Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to put a stop to such migrant vessels, saying he would not “hesitate to strengthen the laws if we need to.” “Canadians are pretty concerned that a whole boat of people comes – not through any normal application process, not through any normal arrival channel – and just simply lands,” he said at the time.

Fifty per cent of poll respondents want to deport the passengers and crew of the Tamil ship back to Sri Lanka, even if their refugee claims are legitimate; 32 per cent of respondents say they should be allowed to stay in Canada as refugees.

A regional breakdown shows that a majority of Albertans (52 per cent) and Ontarians (55 per cent) want the passengers and crew deported. This compares to 43 per cent of Atlantic Canadians and 39 per cent of British Columbians; 50 per cent of Quebeckers believe the Tamils should be deported.


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