Friday, July 27, 2007

As media converges, first editorial rolls in

From what I've found so far, there is one newspaper that has editorialized on the Hazleton decision. More will probably come forth in the coming days.

The Times Leader of Wilkes Barre recognized that Judge Munley made the right call:
Judge James Munley did on Thursday what he had to do – uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Frankly, his decision on Hazleton’s anti-immigration law was a foregone conclusion from the time testimony was presented during a nine-day trial in March.

Andy in Harrisburg

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This decission was a real no-brainer. For anyone with a brain! Or a heart.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that the Mayor of Hazleton has misled the citizens of his city by approving such an ill-advised ordinance.

Surely Mr. Barletta and the attorneys representing the city were well aware that the ordinance contained statutes that were clear violations of rights that are protected by the Constitution.

This whole fiasco has politics and egomania written all over it. Mr. Barletta has become a national hero .... in his own mind.

Schuykill County

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was a resident of Hazleton, I'd be pretty pissed off that Mayor Lou Barletta is dedicating so much time and attention - and so many taxpayer dollars - to this ordinance.

Couldn't that time, attention, and money be spent arresting the people who are actually selling drugs on the streets, or maybe investigating murders so that they can obtain easy convictions instead of being forced to drop charges?

The (faulty as hell) logic here is "once there are no illegal aliens, all of our problems will be gone." Wrong. Even if this ordinance was upheld, Hazleton would end up with a homogenous society that still had problems with drugs, murder, crime, poverty, etc - only their limited police force would be even busier rounding up "illegals," and have even less time to address actual crime.

So residents of Hazleton, if you're really fed up with the shitty town you live in, why not let your Mayor and your police know that you want them to actually crack down on the REAL criminals - not waste precious resources on a battle that won't solve anything?

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the "American Civil Liberties" or the "Mexican Civil Liberties Union"?????
Also, I just printed out a copy of the 14th Amendment. I think you should all go back and reread it. It states "citizens born or naturalized" nothing about croosing the border illegaly.

5:55 PM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

Anonymous, I believe it is you who should go back and print out the Fourteenth Amendment. Here's Section 1:

"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Note the switch in language from "citizen" to "person." I know it's hard to accept, but citizens are not the only people in the United States who are guaranteed constitutional protections.

Andy in Harrisburg

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, you beat me to it. I just put together a post quoting the 14th in full and pointing out Anonymous's selective quotation, carefully omitting the applicable part of the 14th. Thanks for your quicker fingers.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: I know it's hard to accept, but...

Andy, you are way too polite. It isn't hard to accept at all. We are, after all, talking about human beings.

Maybe that's what is hard to for these folks to accept, that we are, indeed, all human beings.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems as if you're all missing the point of the 14th Ammendment-not to mention hyperfocusing on the word 'persons'. Illegal immigrants should not be protected under the 14th Ammendment because they are not American citizens. Mexicans need to stay and fight for their rights in Mexico. It is, after all, their country!

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, by that logic, should all of the English, Irish, Italian, Polish, French, Chinese and other settlers have "stayed and fought for their rights in their countries?" That's an interesting take on a Nation of immigrants.

The important part of the fourteenth amendment: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

It's not US drawing the distinction between "citizen" and "person," it's the Supreme Court. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). Again, may we stress that the amendment says "without due process of law." We're not advocates for illegal immigration; we're advocates for LEGAL deportation and LEGAL treatment of all persons, legal and illegal, in the eyes of the law.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hazleton is defending the rights of citizens over the illegal alien. Citizens do have primacy over foreign nationals, as evidenced by the fact that the latter are deportable and the former are not. This is the ultimate in status distinction. Maybe Alan laments the diference, but I'll warrant that most Americans do not. The citizens of Hazleton have the right to expect that they be defended against the presence of illegal aliens, as immigration laws were designed to do just that, and any ulterior motives they may have are irrelevent.

Hazleton's intent was to prevent illegal aliens from taking up residence in their community and being aided and abetted by landlords that would rent to them. This is in perfect consonance with the intent of immigration law, regardless of the 14th Amendment arguments. It makes little sense to most Americans that illegal aliens should make use of civil rights to thwart immigration law. Alan referred to the heartlessness of attempting to enforce immigration law. His emotional argument conflicts with the expressed will of the people of this nation to regulate immigration, as embodied in present laws and has nothing to do with law, but much to do with condoning lawlessness and anarchy. Hazleton's arguments are legitimate, and Alan's are just emotional drivel.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. A,

First allow me to say thank you for laying out the argument that so many persons who unfortunately suffer from xenophobia use. One must be careful however in the words one uses. One cannot at first quote the 14th amendment as justification for his opinion and then when it is later pointed out that the word persons is in fact used instead of the word citizens, attempt to rewrite the amendment.

I thought the word person was placed in the 14th amendment by Republicans in an attempt to protect recently freed slaves, many of who were not considered citizens by their home state. And instead of Republicans simply creating an amendment stating that former slaves were now to be considered citizens, they went further by trying to creating a Constitution that prohibited the American people from creating a society as disgusting as the one America sustained prior to 1865. The 14th Amendment sent a message. That message being no matter who you are, Americans will not treat you with indignation, disgust, or with abuse.

This case is not about being for or against immigrants, but rather the reiteration of what cities can and cannot do as determined by the document they claim to hold so dear. Perhaps the best advice I may give is the following. Take a civics class, one which takes a look at our governmental structure, then take an American History class, and finally read every opinion and every fact from both sides. Then perhaps you may be able to come back to this blog, not just as someone mouthing off, but someone who has validated his opinion with knowledge.

Good luck in your quest of becoming a better person.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xenophobia would be a good argument against my position, except that it is a reality that we are being invaded by foreigners who have no more standing in our community than the Germans had in France during the occupation of the Rhineland in WWII. Illegal aliens are no more immigrants than foreign visitors on a visa to visit Disney World. Your arguments are ludicrous in the exteme as your side claims rights for those who are neither enfrancised by our Constitution nor entitled to the claim of legal presence.

The reality is that Hazleton is entitled to the protection of its citizens from an illegal foreign presence, be it armed invasion or unwelcome foreign visitor. If our government defaults in this role, then it is only common sense that the states and local governments are entitled to self-defense. Anything else is asking local communities to comit suicide at the direction of the federal judiciary. Amerians have recognized this and hence the righteous response at what they see is a betrayal by their government.

I predict that the Surpreme Court will overturn Munley's ruling, resulting in thousands of cities across the nation doing what Hazleton has attempted to do. Illegal aliens, having no opportunity for employment will have no recourse but to return to the countries of origin.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Supreme Court does overturn the case, it is breaking from tradition, which courts try very hard not to do.

Any person who is on America soil does have rights. Those rights vary, but they do have rights. They day you say you are an America is the day you agree to this fundamental portion of our Constitution and American beliefs.

Perhaps common sense would tell us that illegal immigrants hinder our society, but every study I have seen shows the contrary. Americans don't want the jobs illegal immigrants do. This isn't just a frivolous argument, but rather a fact that has been proven by Mayors around the US. Companies have posted jobs and increased wages for those types of jobs and they still did not receive applicants.

I don't mind people who have views different than mine on immigration. I just wished so many of those people took the time to research the issue on their own. Listening to tv shows is not the same thing as doing research.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Henderson v. Mayor, the late 19th century case that resulted in the Supreme Court decision that gave the federal government control of immigration was judged on the premise that immigration was a kind of commerce, which falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. This is clearly desputable, as common sense tell us they are not. Over one hundred years after the adoption of the Constitution, the Supreme Court suddenly decided that the federal government was the sole authority on immigration, not based on an explicit provision of the Constitution but on what the average citizen would considered a stretch of the Commerce Clause. Between 1789, when the Constitution was enacted and one hundred years later, states had as their prerogative the control of immigration, while the federal government had the power to make naturalization rules. The Supreme Court legislated new law under Henderson v. Mayor and changed the nation. Regardless on how one feels about the potential disaray of national immigration policy by having 50 states govern immigration, the founding fathers did leave immigration in the hands of the states. A convenient misapplication of the Constitution doesn't make it otherwise.

8:36 PM  

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