Fund set up to defend Hazelton from ACLU Assault

The following article is about the Legal Defense Fund set up to defend the City of Hazelton’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act. I added a link to the site to my blog on the left side sidebar near the top, should anyone want to slide them a few $$.. The assault on the city of Hazelton’s attempt to address the problems caused by illegal immigration is being led by the ACLU so we know the opposition has deep pockets, unfortunately much of it taxpayer dollars. The site also has links to related news stories, The Act itself, and an Online petition to show your support for the City of Hazelton in its effort address this critical issue.  

From TimesLeader.com

HAZLETON – Mayor Lou Barletta said the fund set up to defend the city’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act has already received several thousand dollars in donations, with checks coming in from donors across the nation.

“It’s amazing. The checks have been coming in non-stop,” Barletta said Thursday. “Some people even sent in donations before we were sued.”

The legal defense fund was recently set up through www.smalltowndefenders.com, a Web site Barletta developed specifically to provide information about the illegal immigration ordinance. Donations can be made via credit card through the Web site or by sending checks directly to City Hall.

Barletta said the donations will be used exclusively to pay legal costs associated with the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday against the city by 11 city residents and three charitable organizations. The plaintiffs, backed by several national civil rights groups, are seeking to get the ordinance declared unconstitutional.

Barletta said the money is being held in a separate city account and will be subject to the city’s annual audit. He does not believe the account is subject to any outside regulation because the money will not be used for political reasons.

The largest single donation has been $500 from an 83-year-old man from Waco, Texas, he said. Other donations have come from residents of Alaska, Florida, California and Illinois.

The illegal immigrant ordinance, passed in July, makes English the official language in the city and provides for penalties for landlords who rent to illegal aliens and businesses that employ them.

Barletta said the ordinance was needed to rid the city of illegal immigrants, who he says are largely responsible for crimes, particularly drug dealing, that has plagued the city in recent years. But opponents say the ordinance is discriminatory and will harm law-abiding citizens.

Officials on both sides of the controversy anticipate a lengthy and costly legal battle, but predicting precisely how much the case will cost is difficult, said Witold J. Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union in Pittsburgh, one of the organizations representing the plaintiffs.

“It depends on the twists and turns of the case, which are impossible to predict,” Walczak. “If I had to guess, the fees on our side will probably be in the high to mid six figures.”

Under federal law, the ACLU and other attorneys in the case would be entitled to recover legal fees from the city should the plaintiffs prevail in court. The city, however, would not be able to recoup its legal fees unless it can show the suit was filed in bad faith with no legal basis, Walczak said.

“Their standard (for obtaining legal fees) is very different from ours if they prevail in the lawsuit,” he said.

Barletta said he’s confident the ordinance will hold up to judicial scrutiny. The response he’s received through the smalltowndefenders.com Web site boosts his confidence that he’s following the will of the people.

“It’s interesting to me to get so many calls and e-mails from people around the country. This is not an issue that just affects the city of Hazleton.”

Posted to Open Post at Stop the ACLU

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let Brian know at what level you would like to participate.**

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  1. Milton E. Dunn

    May God bless the ones trying to do the proper deed here.Some others refuse to say what is ilegal but you should be compensated by our federal
    Govermentfor doing its job
    that it has sworn to do.

  2. we have laws that cities can use already. illegal immigrants are criminals. it is illegal to aid a criminal before during or after the fact. so if you stop those helping them you stop them. the laws are aiding and abetting, assisting after the fact, and harboring criminals. insist that your local law officers arrest those criminals breaking those laws. and make the get out of jail fee over the top. good luck hazelton !!!! hope you win !!!

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