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Open-borders outrage alert: Judges are voting on the side of local immigration enforcement

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 10, 2008 01:10 AM

Are we a Sanctuary Nation or Sovereign Nation? A growing and surprising number of judges are coming down on the side of local immigration enforcement. This is especially welcome news given the shrinking differences between the GOP and Democrat establishments on the issue. Via the NYT, which must be beside itself:

After groups challenging state and local laws cracking down on illegal immigration won a series of high-profile legal victories last year, the tide has shifted as federal judges recently handed down several equally significant decisions upholding those laws.

On Thursday, a federal judge in Arizona ruled against a lawsuit by construction contractors and immigrant organizations who sought to halt a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1 imposing severe penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. The judge, Neil V. Wake of Federal District Court, methodically rejected all of the contractors’ arguments that the Arizona law invaded legal territory belonging exclusively to the federal government.

On Jan. 31, a federal judge in Missouri, E. Richard Webber, issued a similarly broad and even more forcefully worded decision in favor of an ordinance aimed at employers of illegal immigrants adopted by Valley Park, Mo., a city on the outskirts of St. Louis.

And, in an even more sweeping ruling in December, a judge in Oklahoma, James H. Payne, threw out a lawsuit against a state statute enacted last year requiring state contractors to verify new employees’ immigration status. Judge Payne said the immigrants should not be able to bring their claims to court because they were living in the country in violation of the law.

These rulings were a sharp change of tack from a decision in July by a federal judge in Pennsylvania who struck down ordinances adopted by the City of Hazleton barring local employers from hiring illegal immigrants and local landlords from renting to them. In that case, the judge, James M. Munley of Federal District Court, found that the Hazleton laws not only interfered with federal law, but also violated the due process rights of employers and landlords, and illegal immigrants as well.

Hazleton was the first city to adopt ordinances to combat illegal immigration, laws that the mayor, Louis J. Barletta, said would make it “one of the toughest places in the United States” for illegal immigrants. After the Hazleton decision, many cities and towns that had been considering similar statutes against employers and landlords dropped the effort, fearing legal challenges that they would be likely to lose.

The recent federal decisions will probably give new encouragement to states and towns seeking to drive out illegal immigrants by making it difficult for them to find jobs or places to live.

The open-borders lobby is, no doubt, beside itself as well.

Turn off the magnets and much of the problem of massive, uncontrolled illegal immigration will solve itself. The Bush administration has failed miserably on employer sanctions and interior enforcement.

Local and state officials are filling the vacuum–just as I predicted they would do five years ago.

Self-destruction is not inevitable.