AMERICA’S TINY TOWNS FIGHT IMPACT OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION; ACLU, MALDEF, AND OPEN-BORDERS TYPES FILE COSTLY LAWSUITS; MSLF TO THE RESCUE: WILL DEFEND RIGHT TO PROTECT CITIZENS!
Violent crime—including dangerous gangs, over-crowded schools, the appearance of diseases once vanquished from the western world, escalating hospital costs, and an overwhelming demand for government services!
These are the new problems being faced by small, cash-strapped cities and towns all across America. The source: illegal immigrants.
From coast to coast, local leaders have awakened to a crisis that they are ill prepared to handle: Riverside, New Jersey; to Hazleton, Pennsylvania; to Valley Park, Missouri, on and on across America, to Escondido, California.
Their calls to federal officials—U.S. Senators, Members of Congress, and top Executive Branch officials, including those in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—fell on deaf ears. Local officials were clearly on their own!
So they adopted ordinances to bar local employers and landlords from hiring and renting to those illegally in the United States. The response from the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and other open borders organizations and advocates was swift and predictable:
• New Jersey’s Miguel Rivera cried, “for every immigrant…who leaves, we [will] find [another]. Riverside is going to be ours.”
• Pennsylvania’s Anna Arias said the ordinances make Hazleton, “the first Nazi city in the country.”
• In Colorado, President Clinton’s former Transportation Secretary Federico Peña called similar efforts “mean spirited.”
Naming calling was just the start. As always, the ACLU, MALDEF, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and others of their ilk ran to the nearest federal courthouse. They claimed the ordinances violated the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause because, under the Preemption Doctrine, Congress “has occupied the field” regarding immigration.
Facing powerful adversaries with unlimited financial resources, the communities called for help from Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF).
MSLF responded by agreeing to represent state and local entities that are trying to do something about the costly burdens imposed on them by illegal immigration. Today, MSLF represents Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Valley Park, Missouri; and grassroots groups and leaders in Arizona; among others.
MSLF has “been there and done that.” After Arizona adopted a law barring illegal aliens from receiving “benefits” and voting in elections, the ACLU and MALDEF sued in federal court. Fearing that Arizona officials would not defend vigorously the new law, MSLF joined the suit representing Randy Pullen, Yes on Proposition 200, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). MSLF won in August 2005, when that lawsuit was dismissed!
Earlier this year, the ACLU returned to federal court contending that asking a prospective voter to demonstrate that he is a U.S. citizen is unfair! MSLF immediately sought to join the lawsuit to defend Arizona’s tough new voting requirements. Then, when the ACLU lost at the Arizona federal district court, it asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to bar Arizona from ensuring that only citizens vote. The Ninth Circuit quickly granted the injunction. Days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit!
This is the type of victory that MSLF predicts in its defense of Hazleton and Valley Park. MSLF is confident of victory before the U.S. Supreme Court not only because MSLF won two major civil rights victories there (Adarand Constructors v. Peña in 1995 and Adarand Constructors v. Slater in 2000), but also because of what the Supreme Court has ruled about immigration.
In 1976, the Court ruled that the “regulation of immigration” involves “determining what aliens shall be admitted to the United States, the period they may remain, the regulation of their conduct before naturalization, and the terms and conditions of their naturalization.” Plus, Congress has chosen to regulate only authorized entry, length of stay, residence status, and the deportation of immigrants; clearly, it has not “occupied the field” as to the matters addressed by Arizona, Hazleton, and Valley Park, for example.
That is what the Arizona federal district court ruled when it sided with MSLF and rejected the ACLU’s and MALDEF’s challenge to Arizona’s new law.
Although the law is clear that Arizona, Hazleton, Valley Park, and other governments may legally and constitutionally adopt the laws they have enacted to deal with the burden of illegal immigration, their victory over the radical groups that sued them is not a given. Instead, it is an uphill battle.
These groups have an immense war chest and hundreds of lawyers across the country; plus, they have the main stream media on their side. As a result, this battle will be ugly, difficult, and very costly.
MSLF is undaunted, however. It has faced such odds before and won. With your support, MSLF will continue on its winning ways! Thank you!