For Immediate Release
Federal Court of Appeals to Hear Arguments on Hazleton Anti-Immigrant Law
ACLU to Argue Court Should Uphold Ruling That Ordinance Is Unconstitutional
PHILADELPHIA - The
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit will hear oral arguments
today on the constitutionality of the city of Hazleton's local
anti-immigrant law. The city's law would punish landlords and employers
who are accused of renting to or hiring anyone the city classifies as
an "illegal alien."
In a landmark ruling in July 2007, a
federal district court struck down the anti-immigrant law as
unconstitutional and in violation of federal civil rights laws. The
Third Circuit is now considering Hazleton's appeal of that ruling.
The case has been closely watched
across the country and is the only lawsuit challenging a state or local
anti-immigrant law to have been decided after a full trial.
The Hazleton ordinance was adopted
in August 2006, and a lawsuit challenging the law was immediately filed
on behalf of Hazleton residents, landlords and business owners by a
civil rights coalition including the American Civil Liberties Union,
the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education
Fund (now LatinoJustice PRLDEF), the Community Justice Project and the
law firm of Cozen O'Connor.
Omar Jadwat, ACLU Immigrants' Rights
Project staff attorney, and Vic Walczak, ACLU of Pennsylvania Legal
Director, will argue on behalf of the coalition that the city law is
Friend-of-the-court briefs opposing
the Hazleton law have been filed by numerous civil rights, religious
and business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the
American Jewish Committee, Capuchin Franciscan Friars, Lutheran
Children and Family Services, the Friends Committee on National
Legislation, Legal Momentum, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
Under Law, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Asian Pacific American
Legal Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund.
Attorneys from the ACLU, the ACLU of
Pennsylvania, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Community Justice Project and
the law firm of Cozen O'Connor will be available to answer questions
from the media after the hearing.
WHO: ACLU of Pennsylvania Legal Director Vic Walczak and ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project staff attorney Omar Jadwat
WHAT: Oral arguments in Lozano v. Hazleton
appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit before
federal appeals judges Theodore A. McKee, Richard L. Nygaard and Eugene
E. Siler, Jr.
WHEN: Today, October 30, 2008, 1:30 p.m. EST
WHERE: The Albert Branson Maris Courtroom
21400 United States Courthouse
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19106-1790
More information on the case, Lozano v. Hazleton, is online at: www.aclu.org/hazleton