Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hazleton Immigration Decision

A Clinton appointed U.S. District Judge rules today that City of Hazleton municipal ordinances, specifically targeting employers and landlords to make them verify the legal status of employees and tenants, is unconstitutional. The convoluted reasoning of Judge James M. Munley concludes these local ordinances for U.S. Citizens somehow deny due process rights to non-citizens illegally in the country. My favorite quote is from the winning Allentown attorney, David Vaida.

Hazleton case: "The fact that we have won vindicates the right of citizens to rely on the federal constitution to protect our rights," Vaida said.

The irony is that this whole issue is about the rights of non-citizens without permission to be within this country. Red State provides an overview and link to the complete decision. After a brief reading, the logic seems to come down to the argument that the municipal ordinances fail to provide due process in a matter where Federal Law exists.

Decision: The ordinances disrupt a well-established federal scheme for regulating the presence and employment of immigrants in the United States. They violate the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and are unconstitutional.

My concern in these matters is the legal system continuing to devalue citizenship in an effort to achieve uniform equality before the law for all residents. If the mere presence in this county entails equal treatment under all laws regardless of individual legal status, then citizenship is affectively abolished and replaced by subjects under jurisdiction.