Hazelton: Immigration's New FrontlineNote toÂ copy-editors—the correct spelling is Haz-le-ton, not Haz-el-ton. And there's only about an even chance that a journalistÂ will spell it right. In this case Fitton spells it right throughout the article, so I suppose the error in the headline was put in by an editor at Frontpagemag.com.
By Tom Fitton FrontPageMagazine.com | 2/28/2008
You may recall that in July of 2007, a federal judge ruled against two City of Hazleton, PA, ordinances dealing with the employment and harboring of illegal aliens. But that was not the end of the story.Â The lawsuit is now on appeal. And, on February 14, 2008, we filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in support of Hazleton. (By the way, want to take a guess at which organization is leading the legal campaign against Hazleton? You guessed it. The American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU].)
Hereâ€™s our argument in a nutshell: â€?â€¦The regulation of the landlord-tenant and employment relationships â€“ are well within the traditional police and licensing powers of the City. Because the ordinances do not seek specifically to regulate immigration, they are not preempted by federal immigration law,â€? Judicial Watch argued in its brief. [PDF]â€?In fact, the ordinances work in harmony with federal law and are entirely consistent with purposes set forth by Congress in enacting legislation concerning immigration. They also fit comfortably within well-established case law authorizing local government actions.â€? (You can read the rest here.)
By way of review, Hazletonâ€™s Ordinance 2006-13, otherwise known as the Rental Registration Ordinance, requires a person who intends to rent a â€?dwelling unitâ€? in the City of Hazleton to submit an application and obtain an occupancy permit. (To obtain such a permit an applicant must provide â€?proper identification showing proof of legal citizenship and/or residency.â€?) Ordinance 2006-18, otherwise known as the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, prohibits any business entity in the City of Hazleton that holds a business permit from employing an illegal alien. This ordinance also prohibits any person or business entity owning a dwelling unit in Hazleton from harboring an illegal alien in that unit.[More]