Pa. city defends illegal immigrant rules

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 11 minutes ago

SCRANTON, Pa. – There is no evidence to back up the Hazleton mayor’s claim that illegal immigrants are destroying the quality of life in his city, an ACLU attorney told a judge Monday at the start of the first federal trial on local efforts to curb illegal immigration.

“Even if illegal immigrants really are wreaking havoc on Hazleton, that doesn’t change the legal analysis” that the former coal town’s crackdown on illegal immigrants usurps the federal government’s role, said Witold “Vic” Walczak, the Pennsylvania legal director of the
American Civil Liberties Union.

Hazleton officials last summer passed the city’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act to impose fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that employ them. A companion measure requires tenants to register with City Hall.

Hispanic groups and the ACLU sued, contending the measures are unconstitutional.

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