Immigration Advocates Win Two battles Lose One

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A federal judge in Pennsylvania declared Hazelton’s city ordinances to bar the undocumented from working or owning homes in the city to be unconstitutional. Judge James Munley of the Federal District Court said that the measures interfered with federal law and violated the due process of legal rights of employers, landlords, and the undocumented. Judge Munley wrote in his decision that the undocumented had the same civil rights as anyone else.
“Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a
group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community,” the judge wrote.
The mayor of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, Louis Barletta became famous last year after promising that his town would one of the toughest places for the undocumented. The mayor said that he would fight the decision and take it to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Another mayor in New Haven, Conn. had identification cards made for everyone in that city. The cards are meant to help anyone without a state or federal ID open up a bank account or other services that would not have been possible beforehand.
Mayor John DeStefano told the Associated Press that he wants to build a stronger community and is acknowledging the undocumented people who are already there. The town also offers federal tax help to the undocumented and prohibits police from asking people about their immigration status.
The only bad news for some immigrants for now is that the U.S. Senate voted to spend $3 billion to “control” the border between the United States and Mexico. The final vote tally was 89 yes including Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The only senator that voted no was George Voinovich, R-Ohio. Ten senators including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, D-Ill., did not vote.

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