Skip to comments.Town Weighs Anti-Immigrant Law
Posted on 08/30/2006 10:36:44 AM PDT by Irontank
NEWTON The town is reviewing the merits of an anti-illegal immigration ordinance that, if passed, would become the second of its kind in the state.
The law would deny businesses permits and city contracts for five years for employing illegal immigrants and fine landlords up to $10,000 for allowing them to rent. It also would make English the town's official language.
"I have nothing but respect for people who come here legally and work hard," said Newton Councilman Philip Diglio, who presented councilmembers with a draft of the ordinance at Monday's public meeting. "I have nothing against any particular nationality or sex, but if you want to work here, if you want to live here, you have to do it legally."
Diglio said illegal immigrants in Newton create a host of social problems, including criminal activity. He pointed at the recent arrest and conviction of three Mexican illegal aliens who got in a drunken brawl over a prostitute.
"In my view, this is probably the worst year in terms of crime I've seen," he said.
Diglio said the town's legal counsel is reviewing the ordinance to see if it could resist a court challenge, a likely possibility. Possible introduction of the ordinance is several weeks away.
The ordinance says, "illegal immigration statistically leads to higher crime rates, contributes to overcrowded classrooms, failing schools, subjects hospitals, volunteer services and other organizations to fiscal hardship leading to substandard service and reduced quality of care to legal residents."
More than half the verbiage Diglio uses in the ordinance is pulled from a similar measure Hazleton, Pa., officials passed in July, which has been called one of the strictest anti-immigration laws in the country. Town officials in Riverside, Burlington County, also passed a similar law in July.
Both towns are facing court challenges.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund filed suit earlier this month against Hazleton, according to Cybercast News Service. The news service's Web site quotes the ACLU as saying in the complaint that, "If the ordinance is allowed to stand, anyone who looks or sounds 'foreign' regardless of their actual immigration status will not be able to participate meaningfully in life in Hazleton."
ACLU officials from the Newark office did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.
The town is not authorized to enforce immigration laws, Diglio said, but it can levy penalties against landlords and businesses for failing to check for appropriate documentation.
The law would require businesses and landlords to obtain either proof of citizenship for example, birth certificates, passports or voter registration cards or documents authorizing that their workers or tenants are legally in the United States, such as work permits, visas or green cards.
Then, employers or landlords would be required to forward visas, green cards or work permits to the town, which would determine their authenticity.
Failure by a non-resident to provide the documents would mean they would not meet the eligibility requirements to work or live in town. And the businesses or landlords would be held responsible.
Landlords would face fines of $1,000 for a first offense and up to $10,000 for a third offense and subsequent offenses, according to the proposed ordinance. Illegal aliens currently living in an apartment would be allowed to complete the terms of their lease, but would be required to produce the documents when the lease expires. If landlords fail to verify the documents, they would face fines between $10,000 and $25,000.
Businesses that fail to check the documents would be prohibited from local contracts and business permits for five years on a first offense and 10 years for any subsequent violation.
Diglio said the law would also protect immigrants that work on the cheap from being exploited for their labor.
"Old immigrants wanted to be Americans," Diglio said. "These people don't want to be Americans. They don't want to contribute to American society and be held accountable. This is trying to eliminate the element that does not want to be held accountable."
Town Weighs Anti-
immigrant Illegal Alien Law
That's more accurate
This is great. I can't wait for other states to do the same.
Uh oh. Whats a greedbag slumlord to do?
This is the result of the inmates running the asylum. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION must be stopped at the local level if the Federal Government will not.
Once Hazleton defeats the ACLU -- and, I hope, gets awarded fat attorneys fees and costs -- this snowball may become an avalanche. See below.
Please see my most recent statement on running for Congress, here.
Post-WWII Revisionist history/mythology. They settled in ethnic ghettos and didn't mix with the general population. My great-grandma never even learned English.
Agree with his other points, however.