Monday, August 8, 2011

Ruling over Pa. town's immigration law vacated

A federal appeals court has vacated its ruling that declared a northeastern Pennsylvania city's illegal immigration law to be unconstitutional, setting the stage for a new round of arguments.

The move by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday was expected after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it to take another look at Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act.

The appeals court had blocked Hazleton from enforcing regulations that would deny permits to business that hire illegal immigrants and fine landlords who rent to them, saying they usurped the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

The Supreme Court threw out the appeals court ruling in June after the justices upheld a similar employer-sanctions law in Arizona.

Officials in Hazleton have argued that illegal immigrants brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city of about 25,000, overwhelming police, schools and hospitals. The city's 2006 Illegal Immigration Relief Act inspired similar laws around the country, including the one in Arizona.

A companion measure would require prospective tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit.

The laws have never been enforced. Hispanic groups and illegal immigrants sued to overturn the measures, and a federal judge struck them down following a trial in 2007.

Friday's order from the 3rd Circuit does not mean that Hazleton can begin implementing the laws. The district court's ruling remains in force.


Sweden Democrats respond to the massacre in Norway

The SD have 20 out of 349 seats in the Riksdag but advocate policies which polls show are much more widely supported in Sweden. Sweden is presently run by a Center/Right coalition not unlike the one in Britain

The head of the far-right Sweden Democrats party said yesterday the attacks committed by Norwegian rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik were no reason to stop criticising immigration.
"It should of course be allowed to criticise Swedish immigration policy without having to bear the responsibility of what that mass murderer has done," Jimmie Aakesson told about 300 supporters in his home town of Soelvesborg, in southeastern Sweden.

He spent most of his summer speech distancing his parties' ideas from those held by Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people on July 22 in attacks that sent shock waves across the region. Behring Breivik published a 1,500-page manifesto raving against multicultural policies in Europe.

Analysts, including the Expo foundation, a leading observatory of far-right activity in Scandinavia, have said many ideas contained in Behring Breivik's manifesto could be found in the party's rhetoric.

The party has denied the claim and on Saturday Aakesson quoted different passages from the killer's manifesto to show it was unlike the party's ideas.

"On the one hand he says he is a Europhile but on the other he imagines getting help from Russian fascists to use the atomic bomb against several European cities and murder millions of innocent Europeans," Aakesson said.

"We won't stop criticising Swedish immigration just because he committed that horrible act," the 32-year-old politician told Swedish radio after his speech.


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