Hazleton still preparing to eventually enforce new rules despite U.S. District judge’s action (Wilkes-Barre Times Leader)
By STEVE MOCARSKY
HAZLETON – Yugoslavian immigrant Ulka Djordevic showed up at City Hall on Wednesday, green card in hand, unaware that a federal judge’s order had put the city’s set of illegal-immigration ordinances on hold.
Ulka Djordevic recently immigrated to the United States and was ready to comply with a newly passed ordinance that requires tenants to show proof of legal residency status in order to receive an occupancy permit from City Hall.
She and her daughter, Bosiljka Djordevic, a U.S. citizen who arrived here in 1981, had not heard about U.S. District Judge James Munley’s order on Tuesday that blocked the city from enforcing a pair of ordinances targeting illegal immigrants.
By KENT JACKSON and
Federal Judge James Munley issued a temporary restraining order blocking Hazleton from enforcing both the Illegal Immigration Relief Act and the Landlords Tenant Registration Act Tuesday evening.
Opponents of both ordinances asked for an injunction Tuesday, a day before the city prepared to begin registering renters. They got a restraining order, which is similar to an injunction, except that it’s temporary.
The hearing on the request was held at 2 p.m., but Munley did not rule from the bench. Instead, he issued an order about five hours later. In his 13-page opinion, Munley ruled that landlords, tenants and businesses who cater to Hispanics faced “irreparable harm” from the ordinances.
By L.A. TARONE
Standard-Speaker Staff Writer
As expected, opponents of Hazleton’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act filed an amended complaint in Scranton federal court late Monday afternoon.
The plaintiffs had the chance to amend their original complaint, filed in August, because city council adopted an amended IIRA in September. City officials had been expecting Monday’s action for weeks.
The complaint was filed by Wilkes-Barre attorney George Barron, one of a handful of private attorneys working on the case. Other plaintiffs include the Puerto Rican Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Cozen O’Connor law firm in Philadelphia, and a number of other private attorneys.
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
The Associated Press
HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) — Hispanic groups and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Hazleton on Monday, setting the stage for a legal battle over the city's tough new crackdown on illegal immigrants.
The ordinance, approved by City Council last month and scheduled to take effect Wednesday, imposes fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denies business permits to companies that give them jobs.
Lawyers for the ACLU and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and other groups planned to ask a federal judge for a temporary restraining order to prevent enforcement of the law.
By Michael Rubinkam
HAZLETON - Elvis Soto's variety store on Wyoming Street used to make money. But few customers have walked through his door of late, and his merchandise - calling cards, cell phones, car stereos - is collecting dust on the shelves.
With bills mounting, Soto might have to take another job to stay afloat financially, and maybe even shutter his store.
This small hillside city in Northeastern Pennsylvania has yet to enforce a tough, first-of-its-kind law targeting illegal immigrants, but evidence suggests that many Hispanics - illegal or otherwise - have already left. That has hobbled the city's Hispanic business district, where shops that flourished six months ago have closed or are struggling to stay open.
Hazleton's curbs on illegal immigrants seen as U.S. test case
By John Keilman
Tribune staff reporter
HAZLETON, Pa. - The day after illegal immigrants were declared officially unwelcome in this struggling little city, Wyoming Street fell quiet.
It had been a lively downtown strip of bodegas, hair salons and clothing stores patronized by the Hispanics who have poured into town seeking work over the last five years. It was also, some say, a hub of drug-dealing, prostitution and graffiti.
Over the summer, when Hazleton officials created the nation's first ordinance aimed at driving away undocumented residents, thousands of people apparently packed up and left. Much of the crime vanished on Wyoming Street, but so did the customers.
By Lori Harrison-Stone
The Morning News
ROGERS - Mayor Steve Womack is so angry that illegal immigrants were likely involved in Friday's shooting of a Rogers police officer that he wants some local laws to address the issue.
Womack confirmed Thursday he has asked City Attorney Ben Lipscomb to look into possible city ordinances addressing the issue.
Womack said it's unacceptable more than half the hard drug cases city narcotics officers deal with involve illegal immigrants.
"If something's not done about it, we're going to lose control of the quality lifestyle we enjoy," he said Thursday.
Another American town has decided to take matters into its own hands to help stop the invasion of illegal aliens into the U.S.
This time it's Bridgeport, Pa., whose council has unanimously banned illegals from working or renting residences in the area.
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The Illegal Immigration Relief Act came under fire from the Accion Communal Latino Americana de Montgomery County, which asked the council to reconsider the measure it calls divisive.
"It is obvious to me the ordinance could be used to foment an atmosphere of profiling," its executive director, Eddie Cruz said.
Express-News Immigration Writer
Proving San Antonio is no monolith on the divisive issue of illegal immigration, CNN host Lou Dobbs got a fair share of applause and heckling Wednesday night when he led a live "town hall meeting" on one of the major issues in the upcoming election.
But it wasn't always easy to discern the dialogue amid the war of words.
Dobbs, 61, a veteran 30-year journalist nationally recognized for his past reporting on business issues, dramatically changed focus after the 9-11 attacks, leading him to become a quasi-deified symbol for the national anti-illegal-immigration movement.
By Lou Dobbs
NEW YORK - President Bush will sign the Secure Fence Act into law Thursday at a public ceremony in the White House Roosevelt Room, reversing his earlier decision to withhold the pomp and circumstance.
House Republicans demanded the formal proceedings for public relations purposes, claiming this fence is a major accomplishment for Congress ahead of our November midterm elections.
I've said from the beginning that we can't reform immigration laws until we control immigration, and we can't control immigration unless we control our borders and our ports. Constructing the border fence certainly is a good beginning to our efforts to control our borders, but let's be honest about the legislation: It isn't nearly enough, and far more must be done. A congressional victory lap isn't in order for funding only half of a 700-mile fence along a nearly 2,000-mile border.