Thursday, March 22, 2007

They "come here to here to the land of hope and dreams to make a better life"

One of our staff members is attending today's closing arguments at the Hazleton anti-immigrant trial in Scranton, and we will have a report later today. In the meantime, here is some media coverage of yesterday's proceedings and the first dispatch from the AP about the closing statement by ACLU-PA legal director Vic Walczak.

AP (by way of Centre Daily Times): ACLU: Hazleton demonized illegal immigrants to justify crackdown

Times Leader: Defense witnesses talk gang activity

The Republican & Herald: In last day of tesimony, experts defend Hazleton's ordinance

Also, a reader commented on my post from last Saturday, "Postcard from Scranton," and reminded me that some of our plaintiffs in the Dover trial also received threatening hate mail. Although we tend to look back on the Dover intelligent design trial with a level of fondness, it was not all fun and games, and the reader's comment reminded me that after the decision Judge Jones required protection from US Marshalls for a time due to death threats.

When elected officials and other public figures use religion, ethnicity, or other factors to divide communities, it tends to bring out the worst in people.

Andy in Harrisburg

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hazleton's actions to rewrite the language of what Kobach called "painstakingly drafted" ordinances during the ongoing trial were an acknowledgment that the ordinances, as drafted, were fatally flawed. By attempting to revise the flawed ordinances during the current trial and prior to any judicial determination that the flaws existed, these on-the-spot revisions turn the trial process into something tantamount to an advisory opinion. In subjecting U.S. taxpayers to the costs of a federal trial, Hazleton's council should not be permitted to use that trial as a method to adjust for the weaknesses of its ordinances, thereby passing off the duty it owed to the people of Hazleton to have thoroughly examined the ordinances in the first place.

Had the ordinances not been challenged, they would have gone into effect and the people of Hazleton would not have been allowed any impromptu, off-the-cuff, running adjustments to its application. In all fairness, since those affected by the ordinances would not have had any immediate ability to rewrite sections at the moment of its application to them, likewise Hazleton should not be allowed to make changes to the ordinances during the pendency of the proceeding testing the validity of the ordinances.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The simple fact that the ACLU in its reporting of the ordinance and trial deliberately fails to describe the ordinance as being "anti-ILLEGAL immigrant" rather than just simply "anti-immigrant" demonstrates the dishonestly of the ACLU.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawkins, Hazleton can make changes to their ordinance to conform to Constitutional requirements whenever it pleases them. Neither nuts like you, the ACLU or the judge can prevent Hazleton from enacting any law that it pleases, but of course, their ordinance would always be subjected to judicial review. The good citizens of Hazleton should support the enactment of laws consonant with our immigration laws, and it is their city council's right as representatives of the people. They have every right to drive every illegal alien out of their town, providing it can be done lawfully, your foolish opinions notwithstanding. You may not like it, but that is how democracy works.


9:43 PM  

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