March 22, 2007

Dopey Philly Daily News Letter of the Week

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, writes in to complain that Hazleton, PA's law against illegal immigrants (The Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance) is "poorly crafted," and "affects ALL immigrants," not just illegal ones:

But the fact of the matter is that Hazleton's laws are so poorly crafted that they affect all immigrants, and legal immigrants and other law-abiding citizens are already feeling the fallout and being harassed.

Is the Ordinance "poorly crafted"? You be the judge: The actual law is here (.pdf file). The only possible beef that I can see with the law is that the section dealing with employers doesn't have a statement about knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant as the section regarding landlords does.

If these odious laws are allowed to go forward, business owners, landlords and neighbors are to report to the city anyone they suspect of being "illegal."

There's nothing in the written ordinance that mandates mere "suspicion."

That means skin tone and "foreign"-sounding accents will be the chief proxies for whether someone is suspicious and turned in. The law encourages discrimination and racial profiling and clearly makes all immigrants potential targets.

Baloney. How can "all" immigrants be potential targets when the law is directed at illegal immigrants? If a person applying for a job or apartment has proper documentation, there will be no hassle. If they don't, then there may be. (Hell, everyone needs proper documents to get a job or rent an apartment -- including citizens!) But the "skin tone" and "accent" canards are just that -- poor excuses for illegal behavior. The fact of the matter is that Hazleton's illegal immigration problem is overwhelmingly one of Latino origin. To ignore this fact is just politically correct bulls***. This would be like me complaining that, since the vast majority of serial killers are introverted white males, I'm a "potential target" when such a suspect is sought.

Even though the laws have been suspended while the ACLU pursues the current trial, the climate of fear and suspicion created by the laws has turned neighbor against neighbor and disrupted the lives of all immigrants in Hazleton.

So, in other words, even though illegal immigration is a huge nationwide problem, and that these immigrants knowingly break the law when they enter the county, Hazleton's ordinance is at fault, not the actions of the immigrants who've migrated to the small town. Illegally, I might add.

The target of Mr. Romero's rant, Stu Bykofsky, has a detailed reply in today's Daily News. (Thanks to Colossus' own Gooch for that pointer!)

Posted by Hube at March 22, 2007 07:57 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

That's a good column by Bykofsky. He was a big liberal 20-30 years ago like me.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at March 23, 2007 04:28 PM