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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Mayor Barletta signs new illegals law

    http://www.standardspeaker.com

    Mayor signs new illegals law
    Friday, 22 September 2006
    By KENT JACKSON
    The national implications of Hazleton’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act were
    apparent to Mayor Louis Barletta and his opponents Thursday when he signed the law.

    “It will be something that can be modeled throughout the United States,” Barletta said during a ceremony in his office at City Hall.

    Barletta said the law will be more effective than a version that the city enacted on July 13 but agreed not to enforce after groups filed a legal challenge.

    The new version, which the city will enforce on or before Nov. 1, punishes businesses almost immediately for hiring illegal immigrants, defends rights of legal workers and fines landlords for renting to illegal immigrants.

    A provision making English the official language of city government was removed from the immigration ordinance and approved as a separate ordinance, which Barletta also signed.

    Barletta said the English language law didn’t belong in the immigration law and was removed “rather than muddy the waters when we get into court.”

    While expecting a lawsuit, Barletta said the revised immigration law contains armor against a legal attack because it requires the federal government rather than city officials or ordinary residents to determine the immigration status of workers and tenants.

    “So we’re not crossing the line,” Barletta said.

    The first ordinance infringed on federal authority over immigration and denied rights to anyone who “looks or sounds foreign” regardless of their immigration status, the challenge filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, and others said.

    Those issues remain in the revised ordinance, Foster Maer, an attorney with the Defense and Education Fund in New York, said Thursday.

    Maer is consulting with Hazleton residents listed as plaintiffs on the first lawsuit before deciding whether to challenge the revised law, which, he, like Barletta, said has impact beyond Hazleton. Plaintiffs have 20 days to re-file a legal challenge.

    “A lot of towns (and) cities across the country are looking to what has happened in Hazleton because it has been so prominent. Our concern is other towns will follow Hazleton, whether the first ordinance or this new ordinance. We think this ordinance is not the way to go for localities,” Maer said.

    Since proposing the ordinance, Barletta has testified before a Senate panel, appeared on CNN, CBS, PBS and other national newscasts, and newspapers from Washington to Los Angeles have written about

    Hazleton’s proposal. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist wrote an op-ed piece for the Standard-Speaker Thursday in which he said Hazleton’s decision to approve the act “provides ample evidence that our immigration system needs improvement.”

    Barletta said he would prefer the federal government act on immigration so the city wouldn’t need its ordinance.

    A provision in the new ordinance that reads “A complaint which alleges a violation solely or primarily on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, or race shall be deemed invalid and shall not be enforced” also drew criticism from the Defense and Education Fund.

    “Race cannot be primary, which implies it’s OK as one of several” reasons for a complaint, Maer said.

    The city’s Code Enforcement Office will respond to written complaints about a business hiring an illegal immigrant or a landlord renting to an illegal immigrant, the ordinance says.

    After receiving a complaint, the city’s Code Enforcement Office will request information necessary for the federal government to verify the status of the person named in the complaint.

    Businesses or landlords face penalties if they fail to provide information or if the federal government upholds the complaint.

    In the case of a business, the city will suspend the firm’s license until it discharges the employee or otherwise corrects the problem. For a second offense, the city will suspend the license for 20 days.

    Those provisions differ from the first ordinance that revoked the business license at the end of the year and gave firms time to move out of Hazleton, Barletta said.

    Legal employees have the right to sue, the revised ordinance says, if they lose work because the business is closed for hiring illegal immigrants or if they are replaced by illegal workers.

    The law requires businesses to enroll in a free, federal program that verifies the immigration status of workers before applying for a city grant or contract of $10,000 or more.

    Hazleton also will use the Basic Pilot Program of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to verify the status of employees who join the city payroll.

    A Web site for U.S.C.I.S, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, says companies must submit a request to verify immigration status within three days of hiring the employee.

    The Basic Pilot Program doesn’t check the status of employees already on the payroll or hired before the employer joined the program.

    That leaves open the question of how employers can verify the status of employees hired previously and whether they face penalties if any of those employees are illegal immigrants.

    Barletta said he would put that question to the city’s lawyers.
    Meanwhile, landlords face a suspension of the rental license for the unit rented to an illegal immigrant.

    A landlord who commits a second violation faces a $250 fine.

    In addition, a separate Landlord and Tenant ordinance that the city council revised to take effect on Nov. 1 fines landlords $1,000 plus $100 a day for renting to illegal immigrants.

    Landlords can avoid the fines by ensuring that tenants obtain occupancy permits, which the city will grant only after verifying information through the federal government that the tenants submit to prove they are in the country legally.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
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    D.C. for him asap.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    MW
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    Weak, weak, weak:

    In the case of a business, the city will suspend the firm’s license until it discharges the employee or otherwise corrects the problem. For a second offense, the city will suspend the license for 20 days.
    [/quote]

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  4. #4
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
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    You mean the ordinance is weak, MW ? Not Mayor Barletta !! I don't think you meant that Mayor Barletta is weak .
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  5. #5
    MW
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    You mean the ordinance is weak, MW ? Not Mayor Barletta !! I don't think you meant that Mayor Barletta is weak.
    Yes, the ordinance is only a shell of its former self. Mayor Barletta is not to blame, he had to follow the advice of the lawyers representing Hazelton. I suppose they had to readjust it to better enable it to stand up in court. I understand that, but I liked the original version (tougher) much better. Of course any version that won't stand up in court is of little value.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  6. #6

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    Has anyone contributed to the city's legal team? I saw a
    cool story how people were sending 10 & 20 dollar checks on a
    fixed income. The mayor said it was very inspiring.

    Can someone post some links if they have them?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dem4labor
    Has anyone contributed to the city's legal team? I saw a
    cool story how people were sending 10 & 20 dollar checks on a
    fixed income. The mayor said it was very inspiring.

    Can someone post some links if they have them?
    You can try searching our focus campaign page. It has links to many different discussions and articles on Hazleton.

    http://www.alipac.us/modules.php?name=F ... ic&t=39461
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

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