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Hazleton Immigration Ruling Remanded to 3rd Circuit

By Tanya Roth, Esq. | Last updated on

A 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals immigration ruling was struck down today by the highest court of the land. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a controversial immigration law that applied to businesses that hired illegal immigrants.

And this time, it was not in Arizona; but the Arizona illegal immigration law was not out of sight, nor out of mind.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that prevented the city of Hazleton, Pa., from enforcing regulations that would have the effect of denying permits to businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The regulations would also fine landlords who rented to illegal immigrants.

In September 2010, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Hazleton's laws were pre-empted by the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

The U.S. Supreme Court, however, vacated the 3rd Circuit's opinion and remanded it, in light of the Arizona ruling. As such, the case will now go back before the 3rd Circuit.

This law is not unlike the Arizona law that recently came under the scrutiny of SCOTUS. The law in question is Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act. The Arizona law, however, is narrower and deals only with employers, not landlords, too. The Arizona law was also a state statute as opposed to the Hazleton law, which is a municipal ordinance.

The law, writes the AP, came up as a result of the groundwork by then-mayor Lou Barletta. Originally, the law was an answer to Barletta's claims that illegal immigrants brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city, overwhelming police, schools and hospitals.

The case will now be examined in light of the Arizona ruling, which pushed many of the same arguments, writes Fox News. "Hazleton's ordinances match the terms and classifications of federal immigration law and require officials to defer to federal determinations of aliens' immigration statuses," Kris Kobach of the Immigration Reform Law Institute told the court. "In drafting the ordinances, the city made every effort to avoid any conflict with federal immigration laws."

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