John Gizzi over at Human Event Online, in his latest “Gizzi on Politics” post, has written an important post regarding the ACLU’s efforts to thwart local ordinances to protect against the crime and costs of illegal immigration. Here’s the relevant section:
The ACLU Strikes Again — And Again — For Illegal Immigration
At a time when thirty two states have successfully enacted legislation to deal with illegal immigration and more than fifty local governments have either taken action or are considering it on the issue, there is a major roadblock that their actions will almost surely have to overcome: the American Civil Liberties Union.
In two of the communities that have taken high-profile action to stem an alarming tide of illegal immigration, the ACLU is already hot on the job. In fact, an ACLU suit (in which the group was joined by seven other plaintiffs) against the town of Hazelton, Pennsylvania was recently upheld in U.S. District Court. Facing a rising tide of overcrowded housing and crime because of illegal immigrants, Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta won enactment of the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, which suspended business licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal alien and also penalized landlords who rent to them. Once the measure took effect, Barletta told me in June, “you could see the [illegal] people leaving….There was nothing to keep them there when employers and landlords were going to check them out.”
Now Barletta and the city fathers must go the U.S. Court of Appeals in an attempt to overturn the decision, issued by a Clinton-appointed district judge, James Munley.
In Prince William County, Virginia, County Supervisor John Stirrup was inspired by Barletta’s original measure (which he read about in HUMAN EVENTS) and offered a tough measure of his own to deal with the mounting illegal immigration problem: permitting the county police force to ask residents if they are illegal immigrants and, if found to be in the country illegally, arresting them and sending them on to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency for deportation. Following a crowded and stormy public meeting, the eight-member Board of Supervisors in Virginia’s second-most populous county voted unanimously last month to enact the Stirrup measure.
And — you guessed it! — the ACLU was on the job again. In a letter sent to the supervisors on July 9th — the day before the vote on the Stirrup measure — ACLU Executive Director Kent Willis and Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg sent a letter denouncing “this ill-conceived resolution” and warning of “legal and policy problems that will have a severe impact on the civil liberties of Prince William County residents.”
So, as Congress remains vague on what it will do to deal with the problem and local communities deal with what they say is a crisis that hits home, forewarned is forearmed: the ACLU is out there, waiting.