Special thanks to all the local residents, advocates attorneys, and staff at PRLDEF and ACLU for all of their hard work in winning this case.
This sends a loud and clear message that anti-immigrant ordinances are un-American and wrong for our communities. The Hazelton ordinance that would have attacked the immigrant community in Hazleton, PA has been ruled unconstitutional (see release for more information below). Mayor Lou Barletta and other Mayors and City Councails interested in targeting immigrant communities will nobe deterred from usinge this tactic to scapegoat immigrants and rip families apart.
PICC, the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition will be holding a press conference later today about the decision.
Unfortunately the damage to Hazelton has already been done. Hatred and racial tension have scarred the community, jeopardized many local businesses and has caused suffering within the entire town. Leaders continue to try to find healing and strength with their neighbors. Let’s hope that this ruling can prevent other towns from suffering the same fate.
More information to come….
HAZLETON ANTI-IMMIGRANT ORDINANCE RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Coalition Applauds Decision to Prevent Chaos and Discrimination Washington, DC –
Today, a federal judge in Scranton, PA ruled against the City of Hazleton in a landmark challenge (Lozano v. City of Hazleton) to local ordinances aimed at punishing landlords, employers, and people perceived to be immigrants. The following is a statement by Clarissa Martinez, Campaign Manager for the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
“Today’s decision is a win in America’s effort to restore the rule of law while upholding our tradition of fairness and equality. We are grateful that the court recognized these are not mutually exclusive concepts and made a decision to prevent the harmful effects we would have all suffered if this law had been implemented. This ruling sends a clear message that the Hazleton ordinance, and other similar anti-immigrant laws around the country, are unconstitutional and will not be allowed to stand.”Frustration over Congressional failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform is real and legitimate. Congress abdicated its responsibility on one of the nation’s most pressing issues, and has passed the buck on to state and local governments. But we should focus our frustration on the appropriate targets – those members of Congress who continue to obstruct a comprehensive and bipartisan solution for the sole purpose of scoring political points – rather than attempting to render whole communities suspect and in the process undermine quality of life for us all.
Anti-immigrant laws like those proposed in Hazleton are reprehensible because their proponents know fully well these ordinances will not solve the problem and often use misinformation and faulty statistics to sell them to the public. We are at this point today because Congress cannot get itself to put aside partisanship and political calculations to do what is best for the country. In the wake of their failure to fix our broken immigration system, we are left with a situation in which every small town and city around the country may try to enact their own legislation on immigration, creating total anarchy and chaos in the system.
The American people will continue to demand a workable and fair solution that restores the rule of law, secures our borders, strengthens our economy and upholds the values of faith, family and hard work that are the cornerstone of our democracy. The Hazleton ordinance would have led us away from that path; now we must continue pressuring Congress to do its job.”