ADL Applauds Overturning of Hazleton Illegal Immigration Ordinance
Philadelphia, PA, July 26, 2007 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauded today's ruling by U.S. District Judge James Munley that an anti-immigration ordinance enacted in Hazleton, PA is unconstitutional.
Judge Munley voided the ordinance following a nine-day bench trial that was held in March.
The ordinance sought to prohibit the hiring of and leasing of property to illegal immigrants. The ordinance also mandated that all official city documents and communication be conducted or written in English-only.
ADL originally condemned the City of Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act ordinance through a letter to Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta in July, 2006. According to ADL Regional Director Barry Morrison, the Ordinance makes numerous unsubstantiated generalizations and assumptions that are, "offensive and wholly inconsistent with out long tradition as a nation that has welcomed immigrants and celebrated their contributions to America."
ADL is an advocate of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that focuses not only on enforcement and control but also the protection of the basic human rights of immigrants. The Hazleton ordinance runs contrary to ADL's humanitarian approach as it usurps jurisdiction for enforcement of the nation's complex immigration laws from the federal authorities and places it in the hands of local authorities with little experience or training in the matter.
"We are pleased with this ruling, confirming that the enforcement of the nation's immigration laws rests with federal authorities. This is especially important in light of the fact that this case has implications beyond the local community," said Morrison. "We hope that this ruling loudly communicates the message that a balance must be struck between the economic and security interests of our communities and the rights of immigrants."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.