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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fred Thompson Illegal Immigration Ruling.

Today news story:

(AP) ALLENTOWN, Pa. A federal judge has struck down the city of Hazleton's tough new law on illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge James Munley has ruled unconstitutional the Illegal Immigration Relief Act -- a law that has been emulated by towns and cities around the nation.

Mayor Lou Barletta, the chief proponent of the crackdown, contends illegal immigrants have brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city of more than 30,000, overwhelming police, schools and hospitals.

The Republican mayor began pushing for the law last summer after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting.

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Then Fred Thompson had some things to say about this ruling.

From The Fred File:

Hazleton Immigration Decision

Most Americans want something to be done about the illegal immigration problem we have in this country. They’ve been expecting the federal government to enforce the immigration laws already on the books. The federal government hasn’t done that, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the governments closest to the people – municipal and state – are looking to take action. This is an entirely proper role for these governments.

Back in 2006, the citizens of Hazleton, Penn., were noticing some troubling signs resulting from an influx of illegal immigrants. They were seeing an uptick in the number of murders, an increase in drug-related crimes and a school district bursting at its seams. In fact the English as a Second Language program reportedly went from $500 a year in 2001 to more than $1 million a year today. The citizens of Hazleton demanded that something be done, and the Illegal Immigration Relief Act was introduced by the mayor and supported by the city council by a vote of 4 to 1.

Let’s be clear about what’s going on here. No matter what some groups may be trying to do to muddy the water and portray Hazleton’s law as something playing to an uglier agenda, this law is not about legal immigration. This law is about dealing with the illegal immigration problem in Hazleton. The town’s mayor and city officials made this clear from the beginning, and it seems like they took a common sense approach.

Our constitutional system allows cities to take reasonable steps to protect their citizens. When the federal government is unwilling to enforce immigration laws effectively, then cities need to be able to act, and take reasonable steps to secure their citizens from the social, financial, and criminal costs of illegal immigration.

No doubt, this ruling will be appealed. And it should be.

I fully expect this will be appealed and Hazelton will win the appeal.

[Update] More from The Corner and Wapo.