Saturday, July 28, 2007

Recap of Horizon's Journalists' Roundtable last night

By request from Mr. D., here is a write up of last night's Journalists' Roundtable. It wasn't worth watching, because all four journalists were on the left, which really inhibits any serious discussion of the issues - too many important details are purposely left out. They began discussing the federal judge's decision in Pennsylvania striking down the town of Hazleton's ordinances against illegal immigration, and how that ruling might affect Arizona's employer sanctions law. The ordinances were struck down by a liberal Clinton appointee, Judge James Munley. The Horizon comrades failed to point out that Arizona's law is substantially different, and was carefully drafted to avoid running into the issues the Hazleton ordinances ran into. Most scholars generally agree that the states may regulate illegal immigration where the federal government has not preempted them. It has been established in case law going back to a 1976 Supreme Court decision as well as a 1986 federal statute that states may regulate businesses through licensing in regards to illegal immigration. Arizona's law was narrowly tailored to pertain only to this licensing aspect. The Hazleton ordinances went beyond this and imposed fines on the businesses as well as the illegal immigrants, and included a second component which prohibited landlords from renting to illegal immigrants.

Kris Kobach, the brilliant law professor representing the town of Hazleton, is appealing the decision to the 3rd circuit. What will certainly be reversed is the federal judge's decision to permit the plaintiffs - illegal immigrants - to sue the city anonymously. Even ordinary citizens are not permitted to sue the government anonymously; the only exceptions to this have been minors or women who have had abortions for privacy reasons. Allowing people who have committed the crime of entering the country illegally to be given this extra right won't stand. Since the plaintiffs were anonymous, Kobach wasn't even permitted to cross-examine them.

Journalist Matt Benson made the wry observation that Attorney General Terry Goddard will defend the employer sanctions law against lawsuits the same way he has duplicitously defended the state from the English Language Learners lawsuits.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's new hotline for reporting illegal immigrant smuggling was discussed, and the hotline was criticized for being unnecessary since it's no different than calling 911. Since there was no conservative on the show, no one pointed out that unlike the Sheriff, the Phoenix Police Department isn't enforcing laws against illegal immigration, no doubt due to instruction from Mayor Phil Gordon. So any calls to 911 regarding human smuggling that are directed to the police instead of the sheriff probably aren't going anywhere.

It was mentioned that foes of the Sheriff's hotline are in the process of setting up their own hotline for people who believe they've been unfairly reported to the Sheriff's hotline. The number hasn't been set up yet - we have a suggestion - why don't they just direct it straight to the ACLU?

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