Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Not Your Town Anymore

Well, we knew Hazelton, PA wouldn’t get away with it for long.

In 2006, the City Council and the mayor passed a city ordinance to stop damage being caused by the massive influx of illegal immigrants. The flood of poverty-stricken non-citizens with no stake in the town was destroying Hazelton’s infrastructure. So the town fathers and mothers moved to build a legal dike against the intruders, who brought crime, heavy hospital costs, and a general disregard for the notion of law and order. They have done the same in towns up and down the state of California, causing native citizens to simply abandon ship and move to other states.

With the new laws in place, Hazelton immediately saw a change for the better:

Business owners who employed illegal immigrants or property owners who rented apartments (or homes) to illegal immigrants would be hit with a stiff fine. All city business was to be conducted in English…and only in English.


[The mayor said] “It’s been incredible. We have literally seen people loading up mattresses and furniture and leaving the city en masse,” he said. “That was our goal, to have a city of legal immigrants who are all paying taxes. It’s already been effective.”

Imagine that. Wanting a city of residents who paid their way for the services provided. A generation ago, this story would not have made sense. Our parents and grandparents would have been scratching their heads in puzzlement: “what, you have people who want services but don’t pay taxes? We call them deadbeats.”
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So inevitably, the legal suits against the city started. This kind of action is a good way to intimidate, to extort, and to browbeat into submission any community which dares to stand up for its own survival. Better people should just give up their lives and property and move on, leaving the territory to the outlaws to trash and plunder.

Now the higher court in Allentown has ruled:

A federal judge on Thursday struck down the city of Hazleton’s tough anti-immigration law, ruling unconstitutional a measure that has been copied around the country.

The city’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act sought to impose fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that give them jobs. Another measure would have required tenants to register with City Hall and pay for a rental permit.

U.S. District Judge James Munley voided the law Thursday based on testimony from a nine-day trial held in March.

The city will almost certainly appeal.

Yes, and the citizens of Hazelton will be forced to shell out even more in legal fees in a valiant effort to keep their town an American city instead of a lawless barrio.

Hazleton’s Republican mayor pushed for the strict laws last summer after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting. Mayor Lou Barletta argued that illegal immigrants brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city of more than 30,000, overwhelming police and schools.

Immigrant groups sued, saying the laws usurp the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration, deprive residents of their constitutional rights to equal protection, and violate state and federal housing law.

But we all know the federal government’s (?deliberate) inability to “regulate” immigration. And what constitutional rights do people who have come to this country illegally, who are not citizens, who do not pay taxes…what rights are in what statute protecting them from the normal consequences of being scoff-laws? The responsibilities which correspond with these “rights” are not even on the table for discussion.

Remember the town of Herouxville in Quebec? They dared to set standards. They required that new citizens assimilate to them, rather than vice versa. They wanted their customs and way of life respected by newcomers. Communities do not develop haphazardly. They grow organically, and the better they are, the more sense of place and identity they possess. All of which provides space for “the heart at home.” Without that, we become rootless and diminished:

The citizens in the Town of Herouxville, Quebec for over a century have enjoyed a quality of life in peaceful beautiful rural pastoral settings, with clean crisp air, country roads, farmers markets, country stores, community events, music, dances, festivals and celebrations, complete with old homesteads and ranches, rolling hills, bow hunting and fly fisherman’s paradise with unspoiled crystal clear lakes and streams, reminiscent of memorable times past in what some describe as a Andy Griffith Mayberry County style existence, a naturalist’s and artist’s dream. Hokey as it may sound, it is true in most respects of most rural Canadian and American small towns everywhere, a safe and peaceful community with minimal crime, hard working, church going people, who are quick to smile and laugh as well as help one in need. As a Town we are a close knit neighbourly community who cherish our longstanding values, morals and traditions which have maintained us in a way of life envied by many crime ridden, traffic congested cities where most citizens live side by side with others for years and yet never congregate, support or get to know their neighbours and get involved in their communities.

Granted our Town Charter drafted with the assistance of our townsfolk has been portrayed by some as racist. The Citizens of Herouxville are extremely upset by this comment as it is contrary to our Christian values and would like to emphatically state nothing could be further from the truth. As Quebecois Canadians we are only stating to the world informing them of our way of life is vitally important to us, much like the way of life amongst other cultures is important to them. For us to change our ways and tradition to accommodate others who wish to live here is like asking our country’s respected founding First Nation’s Culture to incorporate Dutch traditions and wear wooden shoes and erect Windmills in their community.

No doubt the pomo intellectuals unfortunate enough to ever have been born there fled Herouxville as soon as they were able to get the bus fare. Those who stay want to be there. And they want others to come and enjoy what they have worked so hard to build.

Since when did it become illegal and immoral to demand limits and accountability of those who wish to become citizens?

California has been trashed by those who have no investment in its welfare and future. It sounds like the same process is beginning in Pennsylvania, with the help of liberal advocates who want to re-live the do-good moral superiority of the 1960’s, while they leave tragedy in their wake.

Not to mention a national government bent on destroying the foundations of federalism.

These are not good times.


Subvet said...

In this part of Texas a similar battle is going on with the community of Farmers Branch. Same old song, voters brought in a tough law designed to get rid of the illegals and a judge struck it down. Now it's on appeal.

Maybe if more of these judges lived in the communities their rulings effect they'd have a different attitude.

Personal experience can count for a lot when dealing with a problem. I saw that back in the 70's when I was stationed in a town where a divorce court judge had a daughter who'd been left high and dry by a philandering sailor. Every anchor clanker who went before this guy was crucified. We always figured there was a direct correlation.

So it's too bad Hizzoner will probably go home to his gated community and not deal with the consequences of his ruling.

falcon_01 said...

At some point there is a threshold that will be crossed when the average law-abiding citizen can no longer shoulder the burden of the illegals exploiting the welfare system and other tax-dollar funded programs of this nation which are supposed to help hard working lawful-citizens who fell on tough times. If the system collapses it will be because taxes and interest rates have been raised to unreasonable levels (some might say they are already there) to support illegals. Already there is too much pandering to illegals, too many concessions given to the largest producers of crime in this nation. There was nothing unconstitutional about a city wanting to protect itself from the abusive nature of so many lawless bandits and leeches.

As one who grew up on wellfare, I know that there are those who genuinely need it, such as a disabled single parent struggling to support a couple of kids. Most true Americans would hate being a burden on society. I joined the military to serve my country and repay the debt I felt. I am greatful to be an American and live in a land of opportunity, where no matter how humble your beginnings, if you are up for a challenge you can climb the ladder to success. However, those opportunities for lawful citizens are being snatched away by those who have absolutely no intent of being productive members of society, and seem fully dedicated on destroying it.

I am sickened to see the abuse of a system designed to protect us, and I am sickened to see citizens needlessly and increasingly burdened to pay for criminals to leech off of our tax dollars and join gangs and extremist groups.

Again there will come a point when the middle class will break under pressure. Even with all the other threats and dangers to our country this is one we can not ignore, because if we do it will erode us and lead to our destruction as surely as any terrorist infiltration.

Dymphna said...


I particularly don't understand why the Texas legislature doesn't attempt to do something about a situation which is breaking the state. If half the energy directed toward, say, the Texas Aggies, were devoted to Texan sovreignty, a solution would have been found by now.

It's a question of "follow the money." Who profits most from this quagmire.


falcon_01 --

Your gratitude is well-placed. Either FL didn't have welfare when I was growing up or my mother was afraid of being deported back to Ireland bec. she never applied for it. Instead, Catholic Charities found room for us in a boys' orphanage for my brother and a girls' orphanage for me. It was a long five years before we were considered old enough to be latchkey children.

You are indeed lucky.

dchavern said...

State and local laws on immigration aren't going to solve anything. Fundamentally, millions of undocumented immigrants are here to stay and we have to figure out how to productively incorporate them into our society. Demonizing and harrassing people isn't a good answer. Being mean as a way of expressing displeasure with immigration policy is both immature and ineffective. We can do better.

This decision will appropriately put pressure on Congress and the White House to get off the dime on comprehensive immigration reform. Our economy simply can't sustain a patchwork immigration system where you need a passport to drive from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. We need a system that protects the borders, incorporates current undocumented immigrants and provides a clear and fair way for future immigrants to pursue their dreams here.

History Snark said...

I forget exactly who, but somebody in this here blogosphere pointed something out which is relevant here: enforcement of any immigration law is impossible because the Left will always sue, and judges will always overturn any real enforcement.

That's what's happening here. The people want it, but a liberal judge is favoring the illegals over the citizens.

Remember this when the Senate and Bush make their next try to shove their idiotic bills down our throats.

Dymphna said...


It is not demonizing people to expect them to conform to the local mores and expectations, Including learning the language as quickly as possible, paying taxes so they are not a drain on the local economy, etc.

And who would want border security at each state? That is not federalism. Not even close. Federalism is the idea that anything not expressly in the constitution is to be left to the jurisdictio of the states.

When the federal government deliberately fails to do its job, when it jails the people it assigns to do the job, there *will* be pressure from the bottom up. It has always worked that way. Integration was a bottom up phenomenon that enough pols took on bec. it was an idea whose time had come. Doesn't mean some areas didn't drag their feet, but Dred Scott was 19th century and the world had changed far too much to permit separate but equal to stand any longer.

The immigration morass has been caused partially by Mexico's perennial problem-solving re its poor: shove them across the border. It's their resentmetn and revenge. We can begin by using some leverage there: they need us as much as we need their oil or people.

Anything done in chaos and illegally will continue in that pattern and it does not bode well for the rule of law in this country.

People in the nearest town are being beaten up by the lawless. Not for gain, but simply because they can. What was once considered a safe area at any time is becoming a dangerous place. I'm not demonizing the men who, for fun, threw my son to the ground and kicked him until his ribs broke. I just want them to be held accountable. And if they are not held to the same standard as you and me then how safe are we?

Demonizing, indeed.

falcon_01 said...

Dymphna- I am so sorry for you and your son. I think facing a group is grounds for use of deadly force... but then again some liberal judge would probably say something awful and lock your son away for defending himself against overwhelming odds.

This makes me sick too, but have you gotten the PC response yet? "Well, what did HE do to offend them or start it? We should be more culturally aware, or understanding of their needs. Surely their resentment of your relative wealth is justified blah blah blah..." That someone is probably thinking this and that countless Americans lost their spirit of freedom, or had it brainwashed out of them by the public education system makes me furious.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

One of the quickest ways to be hit with a "contempt" of court citation is to produce a copy of the Constitution and begin reading it while the "court" is in session.

mikej said...

Nice post, D. It's the first time I've agreed completely with you.

I would advise dchavern to try his luck as an illegal alien in Mexico, and see whether they reciprocate his tolerance, for lack of a better word.

Col. B. Bunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Col. B. Bunny said...

Dchavern is wrong when he or she says illegals are "here to stay and we have to figure out how to productively incorporate them into our society." They're only here b/c we allowed them to enter illegally and mere presence does not void the illegality of the entry or that presence.

We NEVER have to accomodate people who came here illegally. They NEVER need to be given the vote. Their children NEVER need to be made citizens b/c they were born here. The United States are not a candy store for one and all to enter at their own discretion.