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Illegal immigrant ordinances unconstitutional

by Math Is Hard
Tags: illegal, immigrant, ordinances, unconstitutional
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Math Is Hard
#1
Jul27-07, 12:40 PM
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Judge voids Pa. city’s illegal immigration law
Hazleton’s crackdown emulated across nation; ruling likely to be appealed

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19978003/

The Illegal Immigration Relief Act sought to impose fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. Another measure would have required tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit. It was pushed by the Pennsylvania city's Republican mayor last summer after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting.
Says the judge...
"Even if federal law did not conflict with Hazleton's measures, the city could not enact an ordinance that violates rights the Constitution guarantees to every person in the United States, whether legal resident or not," he added."
This is completely confusing to me because the way I see it, all Hazleton did was enact ordinances that enforce existing laws. I'm certainly no scholar of the COTUSA, but this ruling looks out of whack.
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daveb
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Jul27-07, 01:24 PM
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AFAIK, it is true that only the federal government has the authority to regulate immigration, whether legal or illegal. The judge probably saw this as a usurpation of that regulation since the apparent intent of law was to stem illegal immigration, hence an ttempt to regulate.

The problem I see with this and other similar laws is that in the US, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. So, no one is an illegal immigrant until after they have already been convicted of breaking a federal immigration law (yes, kind of odd when you think about it, but it's true). I haven't read this particular law, but it may be that it fnes/denies permits before that happens. Even if it happens after the fact, it imposes fines on people who rent to someone who has committed a specific crime, and the only crime I can think of at that. There aren't fines imposed on those who rent to paroled convicts of other crimes, such as DUI, assault, etc. This means the law attempts to regulate immigration, in my book. Now if the law imposed fines on anyone renting to any person convicted of a federal crime, then I could at least see this agrument irrelevant.
Ivan Seeking
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Jul27-07, 03:20 PM
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Quote Quote by daveb View Post
AFAIK, it is true that only the federal government has the authority to regulate immigration, whether legal or illegal.
This is not regulation of immigration. This is about illegal immigration.

The judge probably saw this as a usurpation of that regulation since the apparent intent of law was to stem illegal immigration, hence an ttempt to regulate.
Illegal immigration is already illegal.

The problem I see with this and other similar laws is that in the US, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. So, no one is an illegal immigrant until after they have already been convicted of breaking a federal immigration law (yes, kind of odd when you think about it, but it's true).
No, it's not. Either you are a citizen or not. There is no trial required.


I haven't read this particular law, but it may be that it fnes/denies permits before that happens. Even if it happens after the fact, it imposes fines on people who rent to someone who has committed a specific crime, and the only crime I can think of at that. There aren't fines imposed on those who rent to paroled convicts of other crimes, such as DUI, assault, etc. This means the law attempts to regulate immigration, in my book. Now if the law imposed fines on anyone renting to any person convicted of a federal crime, then I could at least see this agrument irrelevant.
Convicted felons are still citizens.

What's happening is that the federal government refuses to protect our borders as is required by the Constitution, so the cities are trying to do what they can.

chemisttree
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Jul27-07, 03:28 PM
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Illegal immigrant ordinances unconstitutional

Yet another example of the folly of making something illegal even more illegal.
daveb
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Jul30-07, 08:27 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
This is not regulation of immigration. This is about illegal immigration.
It's still an attempt to codify a law regarding immigration (as far as the judge saw it). Immigration, whether legal or illegal, is still immigration.
Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Illegal immigration is already illegal.
I don't understand your point here. If the judge saw it as an attempt to regulate immigration, I'm simply pointing out that this is a possible reason why he struck down the law.
Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
No, it's not. Either you are a citizen or not. There is no trial required.
No what is not? I agree that you are either a citizen or not a citizen, but if a crime has been committed, there is a trial.
Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Convicted felons are still citizens.
I never said they weren't citizens. My point was that if it punishes a specific crime that is strictly within the federal government's authority to punish, then this is the reason the judge struck down the law.
Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
What's happening is that the federal government refuses to protect our borders as is required by the Constitution, so the cities are trying to do what they can.
An odd thing. I read the Consitution, and nowhere does it state they must protect the borders. Article I Section 8 states Congress has the power
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;...To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;...To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
To me, this means Congress could simply state that anyone who comes to the US becomes a citizen. Now, even if you believe that what is commonly called illegal immigration is an invasion, it only states that Congress has the power to protect the borders, not the responsibility. If they don't perform their responsibilities, the only recourse is to vote them out of office. However, this doesn't give other jurisdictions the authority to take over Congress' abdicated responsibility.
Math Is Hard
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Jul30-07, 01:35 PM
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I am guessing that this one will go to the Supreme Court. I really hope it does, anyway.
Schrodinger's Dog
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Jul30-07, 03:38 PM
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Tangential question but are illegal immigrants counted in population figures? Or are they a foot note, ie we estimate there are at least x numbers of illegal immigrants? Because technically they are a part of the population regardless of how popular they are? Just a simple question I'm not in a position to make a point?
chemisttree
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Jul30-07, 04:36 PM
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Quote Quote by daveb View Post
I never said they weren't citizens. My point was that if it punishes a specific crime that is strictly within the federal government's authority to punish, then this is the reason the judge struck down the law.
I think the judge went a little farther than that. After all, the rules were drawn up to regulate American citizens and businesses. The states clearly have the right to do that. I believe that the judge deemed that law to be unconstitutional because it violated equal protection to illegal immigrants.


Quote Quote by daveb View Post
An odd thing. I read the Consitution, and nowhere does it state they must protect the borders. Article I Section 8 states Congress has the power
To me, this means Congress could simply state that anyone who comes to the US becomes a citizen. Now, even if you believe that what is commonly called illegal immigration is an invasion, it only states that Congress has the power to protect the borders, not the responsibility.
But Article IV Section 4 states:
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.
The word is 'Shall' protect. It means that congress must do it. Congress also has the power to enact immigration legislation which it has done. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal...ty_Act_of_1996
The Act specifically states that actions will be taken to protect the borders and prevent illegal immigration but, amazingly, allows for no penalty if action is not taken. Typical! As you say, the only recourse is the vote...


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